Contrary to worries among some doctors and the public, drinking coffee may actually protect your heart instead of causing or worsening heart problems. Drinking two to three cups of coffee daily has been associated with a 10% to 15% lower risk of getting heart disease, heart failure or a heart rhythm problem, or dying early for any reason, according to three research abstracts published recently.
“Because coffee can quicken heart rate, some people worry that drinking it could trigger or worsen certain heart issues. This is where general medical advice to stop drinking coffee may come from,” Dr. Peter M. Kistler, the study’s senior author, said in a statement. Kistler is head of clinical electrophysiology research at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and head of electrophysiology at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
“We found coffee drinking had either a neutral effect, meaning that it did no harm or was associated with benefits to heart health,” said Kistler, a leading arrhythmia expert who is also a professor of medicine at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University.
For all the studies, Kistler and the other researchers used data from UK Biobank, which follows the health outcomes of more than 500,000 people for at least 10 years. When joining the registry, participants reported where their coffee consumption fell on a range from up to a cup to six cups or more daily. The authors of the current research wanted to examine the relationship between coffee drinking and heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke; and total and heart-related deaths among people with and without heart disease.
Drinking one to five cups of ground or instant coffee a day was linked with lower risks of having arrhythmia, heart disease or failure, or stroke. Drinking two to three cups of any type of coffee every day was associated with a lower risk of dying early or from heart disease. Participants analyzed in a third study were those who already had arrhythmia or a type of cardiovascular disease. For people with cardiovascular disease, no level of coffee intake was found to be linked with developing arrhythmia. Of the adults with arrhythmia, coffee intake, especially of one cup per day was associated with a lesser risk of premature death.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFIT OF COFFEE
Coffee and Diabetes
Coffee may help protect against type 2 diabetes.
In 2014, researchers who gathered data on over 48,000 people found that those who increased their coffee consumption by at least one cup per day over 4 years had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not increase their intake.
A 2017 meta-analysis Trusted Source concluded that people who drank four to six cups of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee each day appeared to have a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes.
Coffee and Parkinson’s Disease
Various studies have suggested that caffeine, which is present in coffee and many other beverages, may help protect against Parkinson’s disease.
One team concluded that men who drink over four cups of coffee per day might have a fivefold lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than those who do not.
The findings of the 2017 meta-analysis Trusted Source suggested a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, even among people who smoke. This team also found that people who drink coffee may be less likely to experience depression and cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
However, there was not enough evidence to prove that drinking decaffeinated coffee helps prevent Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee and Chronic Liver Disease or Cancer
In 2019, a literature review Trusted Source concluded that coffee intake is likely to reduce the risk of liver cancer.
Earlier, in 2015, a cohort study of a multiethnic population in the United States suggested that depending on the dose, consuming two to three cups of coffee daily reduced the participants’ risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma and chronic liver disease (CLD) by 38% and 46%Trusted Source, respectively.
The meta-analysis from 2017 Trusted Source also concluded that consuming any type of coffee appears to reduce the risk of liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. These findings are now bolstered by a 2021 study Trusted Source suggesting that consuming all types of coffee may offer some protection against CLD.