Nearly half of the world’s population wakes up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee every morning. Coffee is the go-to beverage for millions of people around the globe when they are tired or are worn out by the hassles of everyday life. Of late, researchers have added a new feather to the cup of coffee by offering the theory, based on a new research, that consuming more that 3 cups of coffee everyday might lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis – a major risk factor for a host of heart diseases.
As per one study, coffee consumption was linked to reduced risk of the development of liver disease by 70%, while many other study showed the usefulness of coffee in lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like hypertension and stroke.
The new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association , confirms the role of coffee in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
The study, conducted by the researchers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, inferred that drinking at least 3 cups of coffee every day might help in preventing arteries from getting clogged; giving rise to a disease, known as atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a disease of blood vessels in which there is plaque buildup, leading to clogging. The plaque buildup narrows the arteries and restricts the flow of blood through it. This paves the way for heart disease and stroke.
Plaque is composed of a number of substances, like fat, calcium, cholesterol and other substances that are found in the blood. The researchers, including Dirce M. Marchioni, said that only some studies assessed the effect of coffee on calcium buildup in the coronary arteries and even the ones that had attempted to investigate the relation showed inconsistent results.
Benefits of Coffee Only for Never-Smokers
Coffee is beneficial only for those, who do not smoke. Researchers arrived on this conclusion after investigating the results in 4426 adults, with the mean age of 50 years, living in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
A food frequency questionnaire was used to determine the amount of coffee each subject consumed on a daily basis. The subjects were then divided into 3 groups based on their coffee drinking habits: less than a cup, between 1 to 3 cups and more than 3 cups of coffee per day.
A CT scan of each subject was done in order to determine the buildup of calcium in their arteries as a component of plaque and thereafter, the gathered reports were analyzed.
It was found that those, who consumed less than 1 or between 1-3 cups of coffee every day, had a greater risk of developing coronary calcification than those, who consumed more than 3 cups of coffee every day.
However, after careful evaluation, researchers concluded that this fact holds true only for those individuals, who were never-smokers. In fact, never-smokers, who had at least 3 cups of coffee every day, were found to have 63% lesser chance of developing coronary calcification.
As for current smokers or those, who had quit smoking, coffee seemed to offer no benefit in preventing calcium buildup. From these findings, the research team inferred that the deleterious effect of smoking can easily undermine the benefits of coffee in preventing early cardiovascular disease. Researchers also concluded that since their study is merely observation based, it did not establish any strong relationship between coffee consumption and calcification of arteries.
Nevertheless, the study still encourages regular consumption of coffee for improving the health of arteries and heart. So, the next time when you are sipping on a cup of coffee, be sure that your heart and arteries would be thanking you for taking care of them. Also, try to cut down on smoking to amplify the benefits of coffee.