A new study by Queen Mary University of London has debunked previous researchers that suggested drinking coffee stiffened arteries.
Arteries carry blood containing oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body. If they become stiff, it can increase the workload on the heart and increase a person’s chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
According to the researchers, previous studies that suggested drinking coffee leads to stiffer arteries are inconsistent and could be limited by lower participant numbers.
The new study presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Conference in Manchester and part-funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) had over 8,000 participants. They were then divided into three groups: Those who drink less than one cup a day, those who drink between one and three cups a day and those who drink more than three.
The results showed that moderate and heavy coffee drinkers were most likely to be male, smoke, and consume alcohol regularly.
The associations between drinking coffee and artery stiffness measures were corrected for contributing factors like age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, height, weight, how much alcohol someone drank, what they ate and high blood pressure.
“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,” said Dr Kenneth Fung who led the data analysis for the research.
“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. This research will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective, as it rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries,” said Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.