Coffee Drinking May Help Prevent Heart Attacks

shutterstock_72073927Coffee drinking has been linked to many things, both good and bad. Being a very popular beverage all over the world, everything relating to coffee is always open for debate. But for those who love to drink coffee may be glad to know that recent research suggests coffee drinking can lower the risk of heart attacks.

It was previously thought that coffee consumption is associated with higher risks of heart attacks. But a growing body of evidence seems to suggest the opposite- that coffee drinking may have neutral or even beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Researchers from the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea studied more than 25,000 men and women taking routine examinations. The participants had an average age of 41 years and no signs of heart disease at the start of the said study. The participants answered a questionnaire about their eating and drinking habits. They also underwent a CT scan in order to determine their levels of coronary artery calcium or CAC, which is a sign of coronary artery disease. The said disease increases the risk of heart disease as well as the incidence of heart attacks.

In the study, the researchers compared the CAC results with their amount of coffee consumption, from participants classified as drinking a cup of coffee a day, one to three cups a day, three to five cups a day and at least five cups a day. The researchers also considered other factors into account such as smoking, BMI, physical activity and eating patterns.

Among the participants, average coffee consumption is around 1.8 cups per day. About 13.4 percent of the participants showed detectable levels of CAC upon testing. According to the study results, participants who drank from three to five cups of coffee a day showed 40 percent less calcium in their arteries compared to those who did not drink coffee. Those who had one to three cups of coffee daily 35 percent less calcium while those who drank a cup of coffee a day showed 23 percent less calcium deposits in their arteries. In addition, the study showed that those who drank five or more cups of coffee a day showed 19 percent less calcium compared to participants who did not drink coffee.

The researchers indicate that the findings may show a relationship between coffee drinking and heart disease risk. But it did not prove that a cause-and-effect relationship between coffee drinking and less calcium deposits in the arteries.

In addition, the researchers do not yet have a clear idea of how coffee is lowering the risk of heart disease. They believe that it may be due to the many antioxidants found in the beverage.

Source: Live Science


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