Coffee can Reduce the risk of Heart Disease 😃 ☕

Key Highlights

  • Caffeine is shown to decrease the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
  • According to the FDA, 400 milligrams of caffeine is tolerable and doesn’t cause any negative effects.
  • A new study found that coffee can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. [1]

Every 36 seconds, one person dies in the US from cardiovascular disease. [1]

Every 4 minutes, one person dies from a stroke. [2]

But nutrition researchers found good news for us. 😃

A new study found that drinking up to three cups of coffee can reduce the risk of stroke and dying from cardiovascular disease. ☕

Interesting right? 😄

Let’s dig deep into it. 🧐

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The Study Process

This research was presented at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology 2021. [3]

For this study, researchers included 468,629 participants of the UK Biobank with no signs of heart disease at the time of recruitment. ❤️

The average of participants was 56.2 years and among them 55.8% were women.

Researchers divided the participants into three groups based on coffee consumption.

First group (22.1%) did not consume coffee on a regular basis, second group (58.4%) consume light-to-moderate coffee (0.5 to 3 cups/day) and third group (19.5%) consume high amount of coffee on a regular basis (more than 3 cups/day).

Participants drank different types of coffee:  instant coffee (55%), filtered or ground coffee (23%), decaffeinated (20%) or other types of coffee (2%). ☕

Researchers follow up the participants of 10-15 years using multivariable models.

They also adjusted the analysis for factors that could influence the relationship including age, sex, weight, height, smoking status, physical activity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol level, socioeconomic status, and usual intake of alcohol, meat, tea, fruit and vegetables.

To examine the potential underlying mechanisms, the researchers analyzed the association between daily coffee intake and heart structure and function over a median follow-up of 11 years. 🧐

For this, they used data from 30,650 participants who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is considered the gold standard for the assessment of cardiac structure and function.

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Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease.

The Result of this Study

After analyzing the data, researchers found that regular coffee consumption carries no risks. 😃

They also found that, compared to non-coffee drinkers, light-to-moderate consumption was associated with a 12% lower risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR]=0.88, p<0.001), 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (HR=0.83, p=0.006), and 21% lower risk of incident stroke (HR=0.79; p=0.037).

Based on the type of coffee taken, the findings indicated that instant coffee reduced the risk of all-cause mortality, but was not associated with fewer deaths from cardiovascular disease or stroke. 😃

The filtered coffee had a lower risk in the three variables studied and decaffeinated coffee reduced the risk of dying from all causes and from cardiovascular disease.

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Researchers found that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease

Researchers Note

“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,” said study author Dr. Judit Simon, of the Heart and Vascular Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.

“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, 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee per day was independently associated with lower risks of stroke, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause.”

Dr. Simon added: “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 ageing on the heart.”

She concluded: “Our findings suggest that coffee consumption of up to 3 cups per day is associated with favorable cardiovascular outcomes. While further studies are needed to explain the underlying mechanisms, the observed benefits might be partly explained by positive alterations in cardiac structure and function.”

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Caffeine can stimulate the intensity of the heart’s contractions

How Coffee can reduce the risk of Heart Disease

According to Ty Gluckman, M.D., cardiologist, Providence St. Vincent Heart Clinic – Cardiology, caffeine can act on enzymes in the heart that stimulate the intensity of the heart’s contractions. [4]

Caffeine can facilitate the release of natural hormones that act on the heart to release norepinephrine, which can produce a stimulated effect similar to that of adrenaline.

According to him, habitual caffeine consumers have less pronounced systolic blood pressure (the top number in your blood pressure reading) than non-caffeine consumers. ❤️

Also, another study on coffee shows that coffee consumption was associated with decreasing long-term risk of heart failure (HF) congruently in FHS (Framingham Heart Study), CHS (Cardiovascular Heart Study), and the ARIC study (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities). [5]

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Normal people can tolerate four to five cups of coffee.

My Opinion

Now, what does this finding mean to you?

Several studies showed the beneficial effects of moderate caffeine intake. ☕ 

Now, what is moderate caffeine intake?

According to the British Heart Foundation’s dietitian Victoria Taylor, four or five cups of tea or coffee should be fine for most people. [6]

For healthy adults, the FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day—that’s about four or five cups of coffee—as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects. [7]

Although drinking caffeine can increase blood pressure, it is temporary and is minimized over time, if you drink caffeine regularly.

if you’re more sensitive to caffeine and experience palpitation, it’s better to avoid it. 🙅 

Remember that caffeine is found in quite a few sources including: tea, green tea, coffee, energy drinks, cola and chocolate.

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The Final Word

Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. 😲

Caffeine is shown to decrease the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

But remember, everything is dangerous in excess. ☠️

So, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes for better health. 🥗 🏃

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This article is written by a certified nutritionist and verified by scientific evidence. ☑️

We rely on reputed and specialized media sites, academic research institutions, peer-reviewed studies, government agencies, and medical associations to source information. 📰

We avoid using tertiary references. Know more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. 🧐

Following are the references of this article. 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Heart Disease Facts. Accessed 6 September 2021.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Stroke Facts. Accessed 6 September 2021.
  3. European Society of cardiology (ESC): Light-to-moderate coffee drinking associated with health benefits. Accessed 6 September 2021.
  4.  Providence Health & Services, Oregon and Southwest Washington: Ask an Expert: How does caffeine affect the heart? Accessed 6 September 2021.
  5. Circulation, American Heart Association: Association Between Coffee Intake and Incident Heart Failure Risk. Accessed 6 September 2021.
  6. British Heart Foundation (BHF): Am I drinking too much caffeine? Accessed 6 September 2021.
  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much? Accessed 6 September 2021.

A. R. Choudhury is a IGNOU certified nutritionist in India with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry. He also has considerable research experience and additional certificates in nutrition. 👍  Abdur started NutritionCrown in 2020 to organize nutrition information under one umbrella. ☂️  He is passionate about empowering people to make well-informed food choices to support their health. Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals. 💪 🥗

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