A research by the Queen Mary Univeristy of London published on 3 June demonstrated how coffee drinkers may not be at such high risk of stiff arteries.
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Even those caffeine-lovers who drink up to 25 cups of joe a day may be in the clear, as far as the study shows.
The research, led by Professor Steffen Petersen and part funded by the British Heart Foundation, was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society in Manchester this week.
The danger associated with stiff arteries, which coffee was up until now believed to induce, is that once they stiffen the heart has to work harder to pump blood around our bodies and the chances of someone having a heart attack or a stroke are increased.
Arteries' job is to carry blood containing oxygen and nutrients from our hearts to the rest of our bodies. A big job, thus understandably monitored closely, especially if a produce such as coffee may be considered a reason for increased heart and circulatory issues.
How did researchers test this new theory?
In order to ensure a correct analysis the researchers studied over 8,000 participants in the UK. The reason for such a high number of people, according to the researchers, is because previous studies used fewer numbers of people and created inconsistent results whereby some people believed arteries stiffened due to coffee consumption, and others who did not.
Within the 8,000 strong group of participants, three subgroups were created and monitored to ensure a more clear result:
1) Those who drink less than one cup of coffee per day.
2) Those who consume between one and three cups a day.
3) Those who drink more than three cups a day.
People who drink more than 25 cups of coffee a day were excluded from the study, however, there was no difference in artery stiffness between this group of heavy coffee drinkers and those who drank under one cup a day.
Moreover, measures were taken and corrected with regards to age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, height, weight, alcohol consumption, what they ate and high blood pressure. This is because all of these reasons can create arterial stiffness without coffee drinking.
Out of the 8,421 people in the study who underwent MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, males were shown as the dominant group of moderate to heavy coffee drinkers, smokers and heavy alcohol consumers.
Coffee drinkers rest assured, your arteries may be filtering just fine.
The Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, Professor Metin Avkiran, said that “Understanding the impact that coffee has on our heart and circulatory system is something that researchers and the media have had brewing for some time.
“There are several conflicting studies saying different things about coffee, and it can be difficult to filter what we should believe and what we shouldn’t. This research will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective, as it rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries.”
Raise your cups of joe and have a hearty sip.