That dark-as-night food cure is back again, making rounds in medical science. It seems there is no slowing down coffee, as a new study attempted to see if it could protect against heart failure. Let’s take a look at the results.
Health advice from the American Heart Association warns against drinking coffee habitually. But some studies say coffee could protect against heart failure. Other studies say there is no link at all. Amidst this conflicting information, researchers wanted to take a stab at finding out how much coffee might supply this protection.
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Their results showed a possible benefit; but, as with so many other things we consume, it really depends on how much coffee you drink. Compared with drinking no coffee, the strongest protection was seen with about two eight-ounce cups of coffee a day. Such moderate consumption was linked with an 11% lower risk of heart failure.
Data was analyzed from five previous studies that looked at this link, comprising 140,000 people and 6,500 heart failure events. While consumption of two U.S.-style servings of coffee a day was linked with the best protection, this protection slowly dropped as more coffee was consumed. By five cups a day, the benefit disappears. At more than five cups a day, it could swing the other way and actually put you at greater risk for heart failure.
It’s unclear why moderate coffee consumption provides protection from heart failure. The study says the answer may lie in the intersection between regular coffee drinking and two of the strongest risk factors for heart failure — diabetes and elevated blood pressure. There is plenty of research showing that coffee drops your risk for type 2 diabetes. Thus, it stands to reason that if you lower the risk of diabetes, you also lower the risk of heart failure.”
There may also be a blood pressure benefit. Studies have consistently shown that coffee and caffeine consumption are known to raise blood pressure. But at the moderate range of consumption, there is a chance that it could protect against elevated blood pressure.
This study was not able to assess the strength of the coffee, nor did it look at caffeinated versus non-caffeinated coffee.
The take-home message here is that if you face a risk for heart failure, and love your coffee, you now know how much is best to drink: two cups a day.