Not Bad For Business: Drinking 25 Cups Of Coffee A Day Still Safe For The Heart

Coffee beans.
Some coffee beans. (Photo: Reuters )

Drinking large amounts of coffee -- even as many as 25 cups a day -- won't harm your heart and won't lead to a hardening of the arteries.

This sort of welcome news for coffee aficionados (especially businessmen and employees) is bound to be greeted with alarm by others, especially in the light of conflicting studies about the merits and demerits of consuming large amounts of coffee daily. This new study, however, was funded in part by the British Heart Foundation and presented Monday at the British Cardiovascular Society conference.

Conducted by scientists from Queen Mary University of London, the study found that drinking five cups of coffee a day was no worse for the arteries than drinking less than one cup.

The study involving more than 8,000 people across the United Kingdom also found that people who drank up to 25 cups a day were no more likely to experience stiffening of the arteries than someone drinking less than a cup a day.

The average intake among the highest coffee consumption group in the study was five cups a day

"What we found was that drinking more than three cups of coffee a day did not significantly increase the stiffness of blood vessels compared to people who drink one cup or less a day," said Kenneth Fung, who led the data analysis at Queen Mary University of London.

"The main message for people to take away from this is that coffee can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle, and coffee lovers can be reassured by this result in terms of blood vessel stiffness outcomes."

The 8,412 participants in the study were divided into three groups, with each self-reporting its coffee consumption. The first group consisted of people who said they drank less than one cup of coffee a day.

The second included those who drank between one and three cups; and the third group included those who drank more than three. Some in the group said they drank up to 25 cups a day. People who consumed more than 25 cups of coffee a day were excluded.

All the participants were given MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests. Researchers corrected for factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, weight, blood pressure, diet and how much alcohol a person drinks.

The research showed that moderate and heavy coffee drinkers were most likely to be male, smoke and consume alcohol regularly.

"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," said Prof. Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation.

"This research will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective, as it rules out one of the potentially detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries."

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