That extra cup of coffee might actually be good for you, after all.
If you drink two to three cups of coffee a day you will live longer and lower your risk of heart disease, according to research by the European Society of Cardiology.Read More »
Part of a healthy lifestyle
The results suggest that drinking a mild to moderate amount of coffee should be considered to be part of a healthy lifestyle, says Prof. Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute in Melbourne Australia. He was an author of the study.
Drinking moderate amounts of coffee of all kinds should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a behavior that is heart healthy, he notes.
Caffeine is the component in coffee that is most well known, Kistler adds, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active constituents. It appears from the study that the non-caffeinated components are the reason that coffee drinking lowers the risk of heart disease and death.
Study examined links with coffee
The study looked at the link between types of coffee and heart disease, death, and arrhythmia, or an irregular heart beat.
The researchers drew on information from the UK Biobank, in which adults between 40 and 69 years of age participated. In the study the concept of heart disease included congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, and ischemic stroke.
The study involved almost 450,000 people who were free of an irregular heart beat or other forms of heart disease at the start of the study. They filled in a questionnaire that asked how many cups of coffee they drank a day and whether they drank ground coffee (such as filtered coffee or cappuccino), instant coffee, or decaffeinated coffee.
Divided into six categories
The researchers grouped the participants into six categories based on their daily intake of coffee. The groups were those who had no coffee; less than a cup a day; a cup a day; two cups a day; three cups a day; four to five cups a day; and more than five cups daily.
The most popular type of coffee in the study group was instant coffee, which was favored by 44.1%, followed by ground coffee (18.4%), and decaffeinated coffee (15.2%).
A group of 100,000 people who did not drink coffee acted as the control group.
The participants were followed for a median of 12.5 years. Almost 28,000 of the original participants died during the follow-up period.
Coffee drinking led to lower deaths
Among the study’s conclusions were:
• All types of coffee were linked with a lower number of deaths from any cause.
• The highest reduction in the death rate was achieved with two to three cups of coffee a day when they were compared with those who abstained from coffee during the period of the study.
• Compared with those who drank no coffee, the lower likelihood of death for coffee drinkers was 14% for decaffeinated coffee drinkers; 27% for those who drank ground coffee, and 11% for those who consumed instant coffee.
• The rate of heart disease, as opposed to death from heart failure, was lowest in those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day. Compared with those who abstained from coffee, the risk of heart disease was lowered by 20% for those who drank ground coffee, 9% for those who drank instant coffee, and 6% for those who drank decaffeinated coffee.
• Drinking ground and instant coffee were linked with a reduction in the development of an irregular heart beat during the course of the study.
The risk was lowest in those who drank four to five cups of ground coffee a day and those who drank two to three cups a day of instant coffee. Drinking decaffeinated coffee failed to reduce the risk of irregular heart beat.
The study is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.