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How Does Your Heart React to Coffee?

Aug 31, 2007
A 2005 study found that 'In contrast to early studies, recent research indicates that habitual moderate coffee intake does not represent a health hazard and may even be associated with beneficial effects on cardiovascular health 'In fact, no clear association between coffee and the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases has been demonstrated

Data collected for the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiological (NHANES I) by James Greenberg and colleagues at the City and State Universities of New York (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007, 85 (2): 392- 398), revealed that those over 65 with normal blood pressure who drank at least 4 caffeinated beverages a day had a 53% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Caffeine may escalate the risk of heart attacks in some coffee drinkers, but lower the risk in others, based on the presence of genes that govern whether the body processes the stimulant slowly or quickly, scientists report today. Heart attacks might be a risk for coffee drinkers with a common genetic trait that makes caffeine linger in their bodies, a study suggests.

Correspondingly, hyper cholesterolaemic people younger than 59 with the rapid *1A genotype lowered their risk of heart attack by 52% when drinking 1 cup of coffee daily; 2-3 cups a day lowered risk by 43%, and 4 or more cups daily resulted in a reduction in heart attack risk of 17%.

In plain language that means that for those who process coffee fast, coffee reduces the risk of heart attacks. However, for the slow ones it increases the risk of heart attacks as much as heavy smoking.

Persons with or at increased risk of developing high cholesterol levels should drink only filtered coffee. Epidemiological studies have linked consumption of boiled, but not filtered, coffee with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Research has shown that caffeine consumption may have a small effect on blood pressure; however, scientists do not consider coffee drinking to be an important risk factor for hypertension. The key risk factors are known to be a low potassium intake, high sodium intake, sedentary lifestyle and obesity.

In a 2005 research meta analysis (in which several research studies on a single topic are reviewed and synthesized into an overall conclusion), the German medical journal Therapeutische Umschau concluded that: "Despite many studies, no clear association between coffee and the risk of hypertension, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases was found."

In the past, raised cholesterol levels associated with coffee consumption have been linked to a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The consumer's cholesterol levels will not be significantly raised by normal coffee consumption, nor will they be increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

If you're over 65 and don't have high blood pressure, daily coffee consumption may offer protection against both cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.

A blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher is considered to be high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. This means that coffee itself in not an actual risk, it is simply associated with the real risk factor.

In conclusion, then I would say to "listen" to your body. You know how your body reacts to coffee.

The bottom line is that the good qualities of coffee are its antioxidant properties! It is my opinion that the caffeine and the acid affect your body's pH balance, give you the jitters, and cause you to become addicted to the brew! Coffee (and tea) provides short-term boosts; however, the opposite effects are felt soon after, causing you to crave for more.

Sure, if you're a coffee lover and/or you are totally hooked on it for your daily boost, then it's comforting to know that there seems to be no major health hazards connected with it.

For optimum health that keeps on making you feel good without any sudden downers that make you crave for more and have you climbing the wall in the process, do seriously consider a natural, fruit-based antioxidant. Any healthy, full-of-goodness-whole-fruit-juice-concentrate antioxidant is never toxic or addictive. It provides the kind of healing goodness that you feel instantly and constantly.

Be sure to always do your own due diligence in checking out your health issues and what is good for you. This article is for informational use only.
About the Author
Ann Stewart, author, inspirational writer and wellness coach, shares tips on how to fight off disease and feel your best in her weekly newsletter, Youth Makeover
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