Does your morning coffee offer more than a welcome jolt? In a recent observational study published online Sept. 27, 2022, by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers found that people who drank two to three cups of coffee each day had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and early death than those who avoided the beverage. The study included almost 450,000 people (average age 58) who did not have an irregular heartbeat (such as atrial fibrillation) or cardiovascular disease (such as heart disease, heart failure, or stroke) at the start. Participants reported how many cups of coffee they drank each day and their preferred coffee choice. The researchers categorized them based on their daily consumption, from zero to more than five cups. After 12 years, the incidences of irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular disease, heart-related deaths, and deaths from any cause were lower among coffee drinkers compared with those who didn’t drink coffee. People who drank two to three cups daily had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease and death. For irregular heartbeat, the lowest risk was among those who drank four to five cups daily. All types of coffee were linked to less cardiovascular disease. However, drinking decaffeinated coffee was not associated with reduced risks of irregular heartbeat. What’s the connection between coffee and a healthy heart? One plausible (unproven) explanation may be that coffee contains high amounts of polyphenols, which help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
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