Coffee is a brewed beverage with a bitter flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. It is an accepted wake up call for many and a beverage to relax over and talk. But is coffee good for you? There is intense debate about that matter. Now comes a new study to reveal coffee in moderation may be good. If you drink coffee regularly in moderation, you could reduce your risk of heart failure, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation Heart Failure. Researchers, analyzing previous studies on the link between coffee consumption and heart failure, found that moderate coffee drinking as part of a daily routine may be linked with a significantly lower risk of heart failure. In contrast, indulging excessively may be linked with an increased chance of developing serious heart problems.
"While there is a commonly held belief that regular coffee consumption may be dangerous to heart health, our research suggests that the opposite may be true," said Murray Mittleman, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior study author and director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
"We found that moderate consumption — which we define as the equivalent of about two typical American coffee shop beverages — may actually protect against heart failure by as much as 11 percent," he said. "On the other hand, excessive coffee drinking — five to six commercial coffee house cups per day has no benefit and may even be dangerous. As with so many things, moderation appears to be the key here, too."
Researchers reviewed five high quality prospective studies of coffee consumption and heart failure risk published between 2001 and 2011. Combined, the studies included 6,522 heart failure events among 140,220 males and females.
The study defines moderate consumption as four Northern European servings per day, the equivalent to about two typical 8-ounce American servings. Excessive coffee consumption is 10 Northern European servings per day, the equivalent to four or five coffees from popular American coffee restaurant chains (servings sizes vary from 9 to 20 fluid ounces per serving).
Researchers didn’t account for brew strength, but coffee is typically weaker in the United States than it is in Europe. They also didn’t differentiate between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, but most of the coffee consumed in Sweden and Finland is caffeinated.
"This is good news for coffee drinkers, of course, but it also may warrant changes to the current heart failure prevention guidelines, which suggest that coffee drinking may be risky for heart patients. It now appears that a couple of cups of coffee per day may actually help protect against heart failure."
Researchers didn’t definitively say why coffee offers a heart-health benefit. But evidence suggests that frequent coffee drinkers develop a tolerance to the beverage’s caffeine, which may put them at a decreased risk of developing high blood pressure.
Scientific studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and an array of medical conditions. Findings have been contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits, and results are similarly conflicting regarding the potentially harmful effects of coffee consumption. Variations in findings can be at least partially resolved by considering the method of preparation.
Habitual coffee consumption is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, with most studies showing the greatest reduction in risk with higher levels of coffee consumption.
For further information see Moderate Coffee.
Coffee Beans image via Wikipedia.