Good news for anyone who can't make it through the day without having a few cups of coffee - a new study from the British Heart Foundation has revealed that drinking large amounts of coffee won't stiffen your arteries or harm a person's heart.
Previous studies have found that coffee can contribute to the stiffening of the arteries, which can increase the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack. But, researchers found that drinking five cups of coffee every day was no worse for your arteries than drinking less than one cup. Even people who drank up to 25 cups a day were not any more likely to be diagnosed with the stiffening of the arteries than someone drinking less than a cup a day.
The study divided 8,412 participants into three groups: Those who drank less than one cup of coffee a day, those who drank between one and three cups per day, and those who drink more than three. The participants underwent MRI heart scans as well as infrared pulse wave tests. Researchers also found that moderate and heavy coffee drinkers were more likely to be male, smoke, and consume alcohol regularly.
People who consumed more than 25 cups of coffee per day were excluded from the results, but researchers didn't find increased stiffening of the arteries with those who drank up to 25 cups of coffee a day as compared to those who only had one cup of joe a day.
Researchers accounted for several factors in the study, including ages, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, height, weight and how much alcohol a person consumed, as well as what they ate and whether they had high blood pressure.
The Associate Medical Director for the British Heart Foundation, Professor Metin Avkiran, says understanding the impact coffee has on people's hearts and circulatory system is something they've been working on for some time.
“There are several conflicting studies saying different things about coffee, and it can be difficult to filter what we should believe and what we shouldn’t. This research will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective, as it rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries," said Professor Avkiran.
The results of the study led by Professor Steffen Petersen were presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference in Manchester.