One of the persistent concerns surrounding coffee consumption is its impact on the heart; well, here’s some good news for you from researchers at Queen Mary University London.

Coffee drinking habits and rituals are as varied as the people drinking it. Whether you are a first hit of the day kinda person or imbibe throughout the day, what and how much coffee we drink has been a concern for many of us, but one likely parked away and not thought about much.

Heart disease is one area that has been raised as a concern for the more frequent coffee drinkers amongst us. It’s not actually the coffee itself that is the problem, as that has been shown to contain many health benefits; it’s the caffeine content.

In particular, caffeine in coffee was thought to damage your body’s arteries and heart, but a new study by the folks at Queens University shows that this is not the case and that whether you drink a little or as much as 25 cups a day, you needn’t worry . . . at 25 cups though, you might be feeling a little jittery though.

In case you’re wondering, this study wasn’t funded by any coffee association or lobby group, it was funded in part by the British Heart Foundation!  The study looked at coffee consumption and arterial health patters across a sample group of over 8400 people. The sample was separated into three groups who consumed either one to three cups, between 4 and 25 cups. Those who drank more than 25 cups a day were excluded. We can only assume that they were excluded because they weren’t able to sit still under the MRI used in the tests. Each of the participants had MRI scans of their hearts and inferred pulse tests to examine arterial stiffness.

Over the years there have been many studies done on coffee and with widely varying group sizes and types of people, even on nurses. Many of these actually saw favour with coffee as a healthy supplement to daily life, others were more conflicting, indicating that caffeine in coffee contributed to arterial stiffening. However, what these studies didn’t do so well with was taking into account all the other factors that can affect the health of a person’s heart and arteries. These are numerous and can include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Diet
  • Ethnicity
  • Blood pressure

This latest coffee study took these into account and revealed a set of results that showed that coffee consumption did not appear to impact arterial health. In fact, it showed that there was no difference between somebody who drank zero to one cup a day and somebody who drank more than three cups a day.

The key takeaway from all of this is one of reassurance that has been sorely missed by avid coffee enthusiasts, that in fact, coffee is fine as part of a healthy lifestyle and along with other studies looking at the beneficial antioxidant properties of coffee, is actually very good for you.

There’s unlikely to be a final word on coffee and health as research continues to explore the chemical properties of coffee and its impact on our bodies which have been largely very positive with recent studies showing coffee health benefits related to:

  • lower mortality
  • healthier livers
  • enhanced protection against diabetes
  • dementia
  • improved memory
  • plus many more, particularly related to coffee & women’s health

As for those who drink more than 25 cups a day, we’d suggest you watch very carefully how much cream and sugar you put in.