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Dedicated coffee drinkers have lower blood pressure

People who drink two or three cups of coffee a day have lower blood pressure than those who drink just one cup or none at all, according to a new study led by the University of Bologna. The researchers analyzed coffee consumption and peripheral and central blood pressure parameters in a sample of the Italian population. 

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in Italy and around the world. Almost 10 million tons of coffee was consumed globally in 2020 and 2021. 

While coffee may be considered unhealthy by some, recent studies have found various health benefits.  Coffee can support a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain neurodegenerative and liver diseases. These benefits, however, do not appear to be directly related to the effects of caffeine.

“Caffeine is only one of the several coffee components and certainly not the only one with an active role. Positive effects on human health have indeed been recorded even among those who consume decaffeinated coffee,” noted Professor Claudio Borghi, who led the study. 

“We know that caffeine can increase blood pressure, but other bioactive components in coffee seem to counterbalance this effect with a positive end result on blood pressure levels.”

The researchers used a sample of 720 men and 783 women to compare blood pressure levels and coffee consumption habits, among other clinical data.

“The results are very clear: peripheral blood pressure was significantly lower in individuals consuming one to three cups of coffee a day than in non-coffee drinkers,” explained Professor Cicero. “And for the first time, we were also able to confirm these effects with regard to the central aortic pressure, the one close to the heart, where we observe an almost identical phenomenon with entirely similar values for habitual coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers.”

The study is published in the journal Nutrients.

By Katherine Bucko, Staff Writer

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