New study finds: Coffee helps protect your heart

How does coffee affect your heart? A new study has found how many cups of coffee you should drink a day to keep your heart going

 Cup of coffee (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Cup of coffee
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

People who are hooked on this popular brown drink really don’t need proof that coffee is good for your health. Yet a new study has found that drinking up to three cups of coffee a day can protect your heart

The study found that among people without diagnosed heart disease, regular coffee consumption of half to three cups of coffee a day was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease, stroke and early death for any reason.

These benefits don’t apply to other beverages.

(Credit: Ingimage)(Credit: Ingimage)

The study, recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting, examined the coffee drinking habits of more than 468,000 people participating in the UK Biobank study, which holds comprehensive genetic and health information on more than half a million British citizens.

Of course, this isn’t the first study to investigate coffee consumption and its benefits. Previous studies already found that drinking moderate amounts of coffee can protect adults from Type II diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer's and even migraines.

Regarding heart disease, an analysis of the findings from three main studies published in April found that drinking one or more cups of caffeine a day is associated with a reduced long-term risk of heart failure. Compared to people who don’t drink coffee, it was found that the risk of heart failure over time decreased between 5% and 12% for every cup of coffee consumed daily in two of the studies.

The risk of heart failure remains the same with drinking a cup of coffee/day in the third study. But when people drank two or more cups of black coffee a day, the risk dropped by about 30%, according to study results reported by CNN."The link between caffeine and reducing the risk of heart failure has been surprising,” said study editor Dr. David Cao, medical director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, in April.

People think that coffee and caffeine are “bad” because they’re associated with  heart palpitations, high blood pressure, etc. The consistent link between increased caffeine consumption and reduced risk of heart failure makes this assumption incorrect, Cao stated.

(Credit: Ingimage)(Credit: Ingimage)

We need to clarify that most research on coffee is done only on drinking black coffee. However, adding milk, sugar and flavors can add a lot of calories, sugar and fat, which negate the health benefits of coffee. 

In fact, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Public Health and conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of California, two-thirds of those who drink coffee add too much cream, milk and sugar to coffee, which adds 69 calories a day.

In addition, people with sleep problems or uncontrolled diabetes should consult a doctor before drinking coffee, experts said. 

Coffee also increases the likelihood of bone fractures in women at risk. In men, however, it had no such effect.