Harvard Men's Health Watch

Coffee and your arteries

Wise lifestyle choices pay off for men, earning them enhanced vigor and longer lives. Prudent choices also pay off for stand-up comics, providing easy targets that earn loud laughs. The jokes often take advantage of the notion that anything that feels good or tastes good must be bad for you.

So it is with coffee. Its appeal is undeniable; about 150 million Americans drink coffee every day, together consuming some 400 million cups a day. Coffee is popular because it tastes good, and it makes most people feel better. Perhaps that's why it's been blamed for innumerable woes. It's true that some people experience symptoms such as nervousness, a racing heart, headaches, insomnia, heartburn, and excessive urination after just a cup or two. And it's also true that coffee can boost blood pressure, but the rise is small and short-lived, and people who drink coffee regularly are largely spared from even this modest hit.

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