Is Excessive Coffee Intake Safe For Your Arteries?

coffee and atherosclerosis

Calling all caffeine addicts! We all love grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Some of us can’t even function without it! With that said, have you ever wondered how your caffeine habit affects your body? Is drinking coffee good for your health? Is it bad for your health? Honestly, the answer to those questions changes from day to day. It seems like there have been endless studies looking at how coffee impacts health and all of them have yielded wildly different results. Some studies claim that drinking too much coffee can have detrimental effects on your health, leading to things like heart issues or even cancer. Other studies have shown that drinking coffee may actually be beneficial for your health, preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s and helping you to lose weight.

We’re not about to debate any of those studies. (That’s not what we’re here to do today and we honestly wouldn’t have the time!) What we’re going to tell you is some good news: A recent study has shown that regular coffee consumption has no measurable effect on your arteries. So what exactly does that mean?

Is Drinking Coffee Safe For Your Arteries?

A recent study led by Dr. Kenneth Fung (Queen Mary University of London) found that daily coffee drinking is not bad for your arteries. Previous studies had suggested that regular coffee drinking could actually lead to the hardening of arteries. Arterial hardening (atherosclerosis) is dangerous because it leads to various other health problems. This includes erectile dysfunction, heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke.

caffeine and atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is dangerous plaque build-up and hardening of the arteries that can lead to heart failure or stroke.

Dr. Fung’s study concluded that regular – actually,¬†excessive¬†– coffee drinking had no discernible effect on arteries. To be specific, they found that drinking as many as 25 cups of coffee per day made no difference for arterial health!

The study consisted of 8,400 participants of varying age, height, weight, ethnicity, and sex. Participants included both smokers and non-smokers, individuals with high blood pressure, and individuals who drink alcohol. While weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption can all be linked to the hardening of arteries, this study could make no connection between the participant’s coffee consumption and arterial health.

It’s worth noting there is no mention yet of the ingredients in the coffee used for the study. Was it black coffee? Was there cream or sugar added? It may sound silly, but surely things like this could affect the outcome. Cream and other dairy products typically added to coffee do contain cholesterol, which can lead to plaque build-up and hardening of the arteries. So black coffee may be totally fine for your arterial health, but if you like your coffee a little lighter, you may want to reconsider having another cup!

caffeine and stroke risk

*We don’t recommend drinking 25 cups of coffee per day, as this can lead to other adverse health effects. As mentioned before, studies have shown that excessive coffee consumption can lead to cardiac issues like abnormal heart rhythms. For more information on the link between coffee consumption and heart disease, visit the American Heart Association.

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