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Coffee Lovers, Take Heart

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Coffee may be one of the most commonly consumed beverages, and it certainly has gone back and forth from being praised for its health benefits and scrutinized for its dependence potential.  Now, with a recent study linking coffee to cardiovascular benefits, there may be even more reason to make room for moderate coffee use in your day.

                Published in the Circulation: Heart Failure journal, the analysis of data from three heart studies which encompassed 10 years of outcome monitoring was referenced against self-reported surveys about coffee consumption from those participants.  The information came from at least 21,000 American adults.

                The researchers divided the participants into three groups based on their coffee consumption, ranging from no coffee consumption to 1, 2, and 3 cups daily.  In all of the studies, drinking at least one cup of regular coffee decreased the risk of heart failure. 

                For every cup of coffee consumed daily, the risk of heart failure subsided by 5-12% per cup, according to one of the three studies cross-referenced for this analysis.  In the other study focusing on atherosclerosis risk, there was no difference seen in consuming no coffee or one cup of coffee, but those who drank at least two cups of coffee had a 30% lower risk of developing atherosclerosis.

                Decaffeinated coffee’s effects varied widely between the two studies, however, with one study showing no increase and the other showing an uptick in risk of heart failure.  Don’t rush out to throw away your decaffeinated coffee just yet though.  Decaffeinated coffee has been linked to a decrease in stroke and heart disease in previous studies and is still full of the antioxidants from the coffee beans.

                The study does pose several limitations, as there were no controls in the analysis and coffee can be really healthy or really unhealthy depending on how you dress it up.  It wasn’t mentioned if the coffee was consumed black or full of cream and sugar, so it’s rather hard to get an accurate representation of how the coffee affected these people.  For now, it seems like at least one cup of coffee can be included as part of a healthy diet, and it does help make life more enjoyable!

References

Stevens, L. M., Linstead, E., Hall, J. L., & Kao, D. P. (2021). Association between coffee intake and incident heart failure risk. Circulation: Heart Failure, 14(2). doi:10.1161/circheartfailure.119.006799

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