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Two cups of coffee a day keeps the heart doctor away

According to Dr. Peter M. Kistler, many medical professionals advise their patients with heart disease to avoid coffee because coffee can increase their heart rate. However, new research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology shows this may not be sound advice. The findings suggest that coffee is beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

The studies used data from the UK BioBank, and patients were grouped by how much coffee they consumed each day.

One study looked at the effect coffee had on people without heart disease. The researchers analyzed data from 382,535 individuals with no known heart disease. 

The experts found that consuming two to three cups of coffee per day lowered the risk of developing several types of heart disease by 10 to 15 percent. However, those who drank one cup of coffee per day had the lowest risk of stroke or heart-related death. 

The second study included 34,279 individuals who had been diagnosed with some type of cardiovascular disease. Once again, consuming two to three cups per day seems beneficial because it leads to a lower probability of dying compared to no coffee consumption. Notably, no amount of coffee adversely affected heart rhythm problems. 

In fact, the study looked at 24,111 people who had atrial fibrillation and discovered that drinking one cup of coffee a day lowered the risk of dying by almost 20 percent compared to non-coffee drinkers. 

The final study attempted to determine if there were any differences in effects based on the type of coffee consumed. They looked at instant vs. ground coffee and caffeinated vs. decaf. Overall, they discovered that the benefits were the same whether someone drank instant or ground coffee. 

However, drinking decaffeinated coffee does not provide the same benefits as caffeinated coffee. Although decaf seems to reduce overall cardiovascular disease, it did not minimize incident arrhythmia or heart failure. 

The study had some limitations, but the authors believe that coffee positively affects our cardiovascular system. They think this is due to the more than 100 bioactive compounds found in coffee beans. Among other benefits, these compounds reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, boost metabolism, and block receptors associated with abnormal heart rhythms.

The research will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session show.

By Erin Moody , Staff Writer

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