Coffee fans can continue to rejoice, as more scientific evidence proves that drinking a few cups of joe is actually good for you. Last week, experts shared that drinking three to five cups of coffee per day could help ward off heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This week continues along the same lines with evidence suggesting a “moderate” amount of coffee can be good for your ticker.
A study, released in the journal Heart on Monday, March 2, suggests that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may actually be beneficial to your heart. Drinking just the right amount of brew can lower the calcium found in arteries, called coronary artery calcium (CAC). CAC is an early sign of atherosclerosis, a coronary artery disease, which can lead to hardened and narrowing of the arteries which can then cause heart disease, such as a heart attack, or stroke.
The study, which took place in South Korea, studied a group of 25,100 healthy men and women around the age of 41. At the start, all participants showed no signs of heart disease. HuffPost shared that the members of the study came in for examinations, where they checked for calcium buildup in the arteries, and researchers also took into account participants’ education, “physical activity, smoking, BMI and how much fruit, vegetables and red meat people ate.”
Researchers then compared coffee intake with the calcium buildup findings. Those who drank a moderate amount of coffee, three to five cups, showed lower CAC which lessened their chances of clogged arteries and therefore heart disease.
Compared to those who didn’t drink any coffee, those who drank three to five cups had 40 percent less CAC. Those who drank less than three or more than five did not show the benefit or showed less.
Although there is a link, this did “not prove that a cause-and-effect relationship exists” between coffee and CAC. If you do not drink coffee already, the study does not suggest you start just for this heart benefits.
This study has put coffee in the ‘healthy for you’ category, however, more research is needed. Although 36 studies have found coffee to be beneficial, previous studies conducted suggested that java increased LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, and blood pressure.
So what gives? Which side of the coffee battle is right?
Brisbane dietician Marika Day, suggests sticking to about three cups per day is best. Because the research is still mixed, drinking more than this could be harmful. When drinking coffee remember to avoid adding sweeteners to the coffee. When you do so it takes away from the potential benefits.
So go ahead and grab another cup. Your heart will thank you!