Drinking 25 cups of coffee a day 'will not harm heart'

  03 June 2019    Read: 1660
 Drinking  25 cups of coffee a day

Coffee is not harmful to the heart, with people able to safely drink up to 25 cups a day, a study funded by the British Heart Foundation has found.

Researchers dismissed suggestions that too much caffeine consumption can cause arteries to stiffen as suggested by previous studies into its health effects.

The new study, carried out by scientists from Queen Mary University of London, found that drinking five cups a day, and even up to 25, was no worse for the arteries than drinking less than a cup a day.

More than 8,000 people across the UK took part in the research. The findings will be presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference, which starts on Monday in Manchester.

Experts from Queen Mary divided 8,412 people into three groups.

The first group contained people who drink less than one cup of coffee a day, the second drank between one and three cups a day, while the third was those who drink more than three.

Researchers found that even those drinking up to 25 cups a day wereno more likely to have stiffened arteries than those who drank less than one cup. Previous studies had suggested that coffee stiffens arteries, putting pressure on the heart and increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke.

In 2001, the European Society of Cardiology was told the first cup of coffee of the day may damage arteries, with experts warning it could lead to systolic hypertension, a blood pressure condition common among the elderly.

All the study's participants underwent MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, and the results held true even after factors such as age, weight and smoking status were taken into account.

Dr Kenneth Fung, from the university said: "Despite the huge popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it.

"Whilst we can't prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn't as bad for the arteries as previous studies would suggest. Although our study included individuals who drink up to 25 cups a day, the average intake amongst the highest coffee consumption group was five cups a day. We would like to study these people more closely in our future work so that we can help to advise safe limits."

Prof Metin Avkiran, the BHF associate medical director, said the study "rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries".

He added: "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."

u A second study to be presented at the same conference found that people admitted to several NHS hospitals with a cardiac arrest over the weekend did not face a higher risk of dying compared with those admitted during the week.

The study, led by experts at Aston University, included 4,803 people going to hospital with a cardiac arrest and assessed their five-year survival rate.


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