New York City — A new study finds that drinking two to three cups a day of most types of coffee may protect you from cardiovascular disease and early death.
“The results suggest that light to moderate decaffeinated ground and instant coffee should be considered as part of a healthy lifestyle,” said study author Peter Kistler, M.D., chair of clinical electrophysiology research at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and chair of electrophysiology at Alfred. Hospital in Melbourne.
The researchers found a significant reduction in the risks of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and stroke for all three types of coffee. However, only ground and instant coffee that contains caffeine reduces the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat called arrhythmia. Decaffeinated coffee did not reduce this risk, according to the study published Wednesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Previous studies have also found that moderate amounts of black coffee — between 3 and 5 cups per day — have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and prostate cancer.
“This manuscript adds to the body of evidence from observational trials linking moderate coffee consumption with heart protection, which appears promising,” Charlotte Mills, a lecturer in nutritional sciences at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.
However, this study, like many previous studies, was of an observational nature only, and therefore could not prove a direct cause and effect, added Mills, who was not involved in the study.
“Does coffee make you healthy, or do people who are naturally healthy consume coffee?” She asked. “There is a need for randomized controlled trials to establish the relationship between coffee and cardiovascular health.”
Caffeine-containing ground coffee reduces the risk the most
The study used data from the UK’s Biobank, a research database containing the coffee consumption preferences of nearly 450,000 adults who were free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. They were divided into four groups: those who consumed caffeinated ground coffee, those who chose decaffeinated coffee, those who preferred instant coffee containing caffeine, and those who did not drink coffee at all.
After an average of 12.5 years, researchers looked at medical and mortality records for reports of arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death. After adjusting for age, diabetes, race, high blood pressure, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, gender, smoking status, and tea and alcohol consumption, the researchers found that all types of coffee were associated with lower mortality from any cause.
The fact that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees were beneficial “may suggest that not only caffeine could explain any reduction associated with risk,” said Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior fellow at Aston University School of Medicine in Birmingham. United Kingdom, in a statement. He did not participate in the study.
“Caffeine is the most well-known ingredient in coffee, but the drink contains more than 100 biologically active ingredients,” said Kistler, who holds joint positions as professor of medicine at the University of Melbourne and Monash University.
“It is possible that non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking and cardiovascular disease and survival,” Kistler said.
According to the statement, drinking two to three cups of coffee per day was associated with the largest reduction in premature death, compared to people who did not drink coffee. Consumption of ground coffee reduced the risk of death by 27%, followed by 14% for decaffeinated coffee, and 11% for caffeinated coffee.
The association between coffee and a lower risk of heart disease and stroke was not strong: drinking two to three cups of ground coffee per day reduced risk by 20%, while the same amount of decaffeinated coffee reduced risk by 6% and instant by 9%. .
The data changed when it came to the effect of coffee on arrhythmias: Four to five cups of caffeinated ground coffee reduced the risk by 17%, while two to three cups of instant coffee a day reduced the likelihood of arrhythmia. by 12%, the statement said. .
More study is needed
One of the study’s limitations is that coffee consumption was simultaneously self-reported, said Annette Creedon, a nutrition scientist and director at the British Nutrition Foundation, which is partly funded by food producers, retailers and food service companies.
“This study had an average follow-up period of 12.5 years, during which many aspects of the participants’ diet and lifestyle changed,” Credon said in a statement. It was not part of the research.
In addition, she added, coffee can cause negative side effects in some people. People who have trouble sleeping or uncontrolled diabetes, for example, should check with their doctor before adding caffeine to their diets.
These negative side effects “could be particularly relevant in individuals sensitive to the effects of caffeine,” Credon said. “Hence, the results of this study do not suggest that people should start drinking coffee if they have not already drunk it or should increase their consumption.”
Most studies focus on the health benefits of black coffee, and don’t take into account the extra sugars, creamers, milk, and processed additives that many people use in their coffee.
“A simple cup of coffee with a little milk might be very different than a large latte with added syrup and cream flavor,” Mellor said.
In addition, the way coffee is prepared can also affect its health benefits. Filter coffee captures a compound called cafestol that is present in the fatty part of the coffee. Cafestol can increase bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
However, using a French press, Turkish coffee maker, or boiled coffee (as often happens in Scandinavia) does not remove the cafestol.
Finally, the benefits of coffee do not apply to children — even teens should not drink cola, coffee, energy drinks, or other beverages with any amount of caffeine, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.