While research suggests that drinking coffee has myriad health benefits, other studies have reported that it can cause stiffening of the arteries. Well, coffee aficionados can now drink up without worry. A new study from Queen Mary University of London, presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference, found that coffee isn't bad for your heart after all. Even if you drink 25 cups a day.
I don't know how anyone would have time to accomplish this feat — if you're awake for 18 hours that's almost a cup and a half of coffee an hour. Perhaps it's celebs consuming so much as they always seem to be photographed carrying coffee. The bottom line is that whether you drink a cup of two, or more than 20, you now have permission to go ahead and pour yourself another one.
"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," Dr. Kenneth Fung, who led the data analysis for the research at Queen Mary University of London, said in a press release. He added that while the study did indeed include Lorelai Gilmore level coffee drinkers who consume up to 25 cups a day, the average person in the study had around five cups of coffee per day.
The study followed more than 8,000 people in the UK. Participants were separated into three groups: those who drink less than one cup of coffee per day, those who drink between one-and-three cups per day, and those who drink more than three. People who drink more than 25 cups — who are these people? — were excluded from the study. "We would like to study these people more closely in our future work so that we can help to advise safe limits," Dr. Fung said.
Overall, coffee consumption was found to have no negative affects on the arteries. "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," Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which partially funded the study, said.
What's more, a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that not only is coffee not bad for your arteries, it might actually have cardiovascular benefits. "Habitual consumption of [more than three cups] of coffee decreased odds of subclinical atherosclerosis among never smokers. The consumption of coffee could exert a potential beneficial effect against coronary calcification, particularly in nonsmokers," the study conducted by the University of São Paulo in Brazil concluded.
The study emphasized that this may not be true for smokers because the negative effects of smoking could potentially override the positive benefits of coffee. According to Medical News Today, atherosclerosis can cause plaque to accumulate in the arteries. This in turn can lead to a narrowing of the arteries and restrict blood flow to the heart, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Because there are so many conflicting studies about coffee, it can be hard to know what to believe. However, people have been drinking coffee since the dawn of time. And if you follow the line of reasoning of these two studies, having a few cups a coffee a day isn't going to hurt you. In fact, it might actually help you. Because coffee is magic.