Drinking up to 3 cups of coffee a day can help heart health and stroke risk

Drinking up to 3 cups of coffee a day can help heart health and stroke risk

It’s another major win for your coffee addiction: Drinking between half a cup and three cups of coffee a day can dramatically reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke.

New research presented last Friday at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology adds to the already long list of health benefits associated with routine coffee consumption.

The connection between coffee and heart disease

The researchers found that participants with no history of heart disease were also found to be less likely to experience early death from any cause compared to non-coffee drinkers. It really does pay to like coffee!

“To our knowledge, this is the largest study to systematically assess the cardiovascular effects of regular coffee consumption in a population without diagnosed heart disease,” Dr. Judit Simon, Heart and Vascular Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.

The study was derived from more than 468,000 people who participated in a UK Biobank Study that measured genetic and health data.

The average age of the study group was 56.

Can too much coffee be a bad thing?

Federal health guidelines suggest adults try not to drink more than three to five cups of coffee a day (a max of 400 milligrams, or four cups, is suggested.)

The authors of the new report found no adverse health effects among participants who regularly met the furthest extent of this recommendation.

Light-to-moderate coffee consumption was defined as half a cup to three cups per day, while high coffee consumption denoted participants who regularly consumed more than three cups a day.

“Our results suggest that regular coffee consumption is safe, as even high daily intake was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality after a follow-up of 10 to 15 years,” she continued. “Moreover, half a cup to 3 cups of coffee per day was independently associated with lower risks of stroke, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause.”

After a follow-up analysis was conducted 11 years after the start of the study period, the authors found that light-to-moderate coffee consumers were 12% less likely to die from any cause, 17% less likely to succumb to cardiovascular disease, and 21% less likely to experience a stroke compared to non-coffee drinkers.

These results remained consistent even after the authors adjusted for factors like age, sex, weight, height, smoking status, physical activity, and medical history.

“The imaging analysis indicated that compared with participants who did not drink coffee regularly, daily consumers had healthier sized and better functioning hearts. This was consistent with reversing the detrimental effects of aging on the heart.”

How coffee protects the heart

A recent study published in the journal PLOS Biology suggests a protein called p27 is what makes coffee so good for the heart.

In a crop of mice, the presence of p27 protected their heart muscle cells from dying after a heart attack was induced in them. The protein additionally caused other cells and fibroblasts important for heart function to become more active.

When the mice were administered caffeine, p27 moved more reliably into the mitochondria of heart cells in the mice as well as into the lining of the blood vessels. 

The caffeine dose given to the mice was equivalent to four cups of coffee, which falls in line with the findings presented by the European Society of Cardiology.

Exceeding this value of coffee may cause insomnia, anxiety, and digestive issues (for humans, not mice).


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