Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RNSo much confusion exists about the health benefits of coffee. While many avoid it entirely, others simply can’t live without it.
The truth is, most current research paints a pretty positive picture for coffee drinkers, especially when considering the results of this latest study.
Scientists from Korea recently found that coffee drinking may help to prevent arterial disease. The results were published in the journal Heart.
3-5 cups of Coffee Daily May Prevent Arterial CalcificationArterial calcification is a risk factor for heart disease. Calcium hardens arteries and it contributes to plaque buildup. Consequently, the prevention of arterial calcification is important for a healthy heart.
For the study, scientists analyzed the coffee habits of over 25,000 participants working in a hospital. At the beginning of the study, participants were free of heart disease symptoms, and the average age was 41 years old. Heart CT scans were conducted to determine the amount of calcium present in arterial walls.
Calcium deposits were present in 13% of participants. They found that people who drank 3−5 cups of coffee daily had significantly less calcium in their arteries compared to those who drank larger or smaller amounts of coffee.1
The results held true regardless of smoking status, exercise habits, or a family history of heart disease.
Previous Studies Show Coffee is Good for Your GeartThe study does not prove that coffee drinking prevents arterial calcification. However, it emphasizes the heart benefits of this cherished drink.
Coffee drinking has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cholesterol oxidation, two effects that are heart protective.2-3
In addition, coffee supports endothelial function4, 5 (the ability of blood vessels to contract and dilate easily), making the results of this present study not all that surprising.
The Bottom LineIf you do like drink coffee, you should feel free to enjoy it guilt-free. Also, drink to your heart’s content – well, at least moderately!
Caution: individuals with existing high blood pressure should exercise caution when drinking coffee. The caffeine may lead to an increase in high blood pressure, although individuals vary in their susceptibility to the effects of caffeine.
- Heart. 2015 Mar 2. pii: heartjnl-2014-306663.
- Biochemistry (Mosc). 2004 Jan;69(1):70-4.
- Diabetologia. 2011 Feb;54(2):320-8.
- Nutr Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):155-9.
- Vasc Med. 2013 Apr;18(2):55-62.
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