Plot twist: Coffee isn’t actually ‘bad’ for your heart. It might help it, study shows
When it comes to heart health, coffee has a poor rep. While some people report uncomfortable jitters and fluttering pulses, studies suggest that the drink has certain health advantages, including lower cancer, liver disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease risks.
New study from the University of California, San Francisco, has shattered more myths.
An examination of more than 386,000 self-reported coffee users found no evidence that the beverage promotes cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, in a U.K. biological database. In fact, each additional cup of coffee drunk was linked to a 3 percent decreased chance of developing the disease, according to the study.
People who have a bad reaction to coffee are likely to have some genes that cause them to process caffeine differently than those who do not. The researchers found no higher risk of arrhythmia even among individuals with the genetic propensity, according to the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
“Coffee is the primary source of caffeine for most people, and it has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias,” senior and corresponding author Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiology professor who specializes in the treatment of arrhythmias at UCSF, said in a statement. “Our population-based analysis demonstrates that widespread warnings against caffeine for the prevention of arrhythmia are likely unfounded.”
The researchers point out that the study’s self-reported nature, as well as a lack of information on the type of coffee and how it was prepared, restricts their ability to draw a causal link between coffee and poor heart health. Their conclusions, on the other hand, are in accord with those of others who have studied the subject.
According to Marcus, “only a randomised clinical trial can conclusively establish clear consequences of coffee or caffeine consumption.” “However, there was no indication in our study that drinking caffeinated beverages increased the risk of arrhythmia.”