The currently available evidence on the cardiovascular effects of habitual coffee consumption is largely reassuring, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The study, a comprehensive review of existing data addressing the effects of chronic coffee consumption on cardiovascular health, suggests that two to three cups of coffee per day is neutral to beneficial in terms of risks for coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke.
In fact, the authors note, “from a cardiovascular standpoint, coffee consumption may reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension, as well as other conditions associated with [cardiovascular] risk such as obesity and depression.
Other potential benefits include protection against neurodegenerative diseases, improved asthma control, lower risk of select gastrointestinal diseases and lower risks of mortality.
However, the authors do caution that most of the data on coffee’s effects are based upon observational data, with very few randomized controlled studies, and association does not prove causation.
They note that the “possible advantages of regular coffee consumption have to be weighed against potential risks … including anxiety, insomnia, tremulousness and palpitations, as well as bone loss and possibly increased risk of fractures.”
Moving forward, the authors recommend moderation in healthy adults and go as far as to suggest that given the health benefits decaffeinated coffee may be a reasonable option for people who experience side effects from caffeine stimulation.
They also suggest that further studies might explore the possibility that coffee consumption may be acting as a surrogate marker of some other dietary or lifestyle risk factor. “It is possible that individuals who consume coffee differ in other important dietary and sociologic aspects from the non-consumers,” they said.
Source: America College of Cardiology