We would all love to have that one cup of coffee in the morning, just after waking up. The stimulant is a wonder substance that can just bring us back to active mode in a jiffy. But caffeine has not been looked favorably by the scientific community. Caffeine is supposedly quite harmful to our heart’s health and hurts our arteries.
Or so we thought.
Until new research done by researchers at the Queen Mary University of London and partially funded by British Heart Foundation, suggests that caffeine is not too bad for our heart up to a limit. Up to 25 cups of coffee per day!
The study was conducted on over 8412 people. They were separated into 3 groups. One of the groups drank less than a cup each day. Another drank about 2-3 cups each day. Finally, there was the third group who drank 4-25 cups each day. People who drank over 25 cups were not considered in this study. The participants were put under MRI scans and infrared pulse wave tests to examine cardiovascular health, that is, the stiffness of their arteries.
Studies that were done before this one had concluded that drinking excess of coffee can cause the arteries to stiffen, increasing the risk of heart attacks. However, in this study, after canceling out a few factors like consumption of alcohol, smoking, diet, weight, height, ethnicity, blood pressure, etc, the researchers did not find any significant impact on the cardiovascular health of the participants. The findings were presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference.
Kenneth Fung, the person who led the entire analysis, said that the findings show that there was no change in the heart health of someone drinking 1 cup of coffee and someone drinking 3 cups of it. It means that coffee can turn out to be a part of our healthy lifestyle.
However, it does not claim that coffee in itself is completely healthy. As Metin Avrikan, who is working as an associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, points out, there are many conflicting studies present in the world of medical literature. However, it does shed light on a new avenue of research and lowers the harm associated with coffee.
But isn’t 25 cups too much? Of course, it does not stiffen your arteries but researchers have still not conducted any study on the health of those who have a high consumption rate of coffee. So, we’d have to wait and watch.
Yet, another study showed that the upper limit of coffee should be around 6 cups per day. Going beyond that results in a spike in blood pressure levels and cardiovascular disease. This study was conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia. On the other hand, David DiSalvo has reported in Forbes that drinking coffee can lead to a lowering of mortality rates and protection against dementia and diabetes. And yet, it has been associated with insomnia and heartburns.
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So, there are loads of contradictions regarding coffee intake. Dr. Astrid Nehlig, a spokesperson from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee claims that she would not recommend that much intake of coffee to anyone. A tiny population could handle it.
So, the stakes are too high. Maybe cutting back on coffee a little bit might actually be wise for now.
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