A new study shows that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee each day might lower the risk of developing clogged arteries.
Researchers analyzed data on 25,138 men and women with an average age of 41.3 years-old old and no signs of heart disease. They found that people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee daily had 41% less calcium build-up in their arteries when compared to people who did not drink coffee.
More benefits of coffee:
Likely Effective for:
- Mental alertness. Drinking coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine throughout the day seems to increase alertness and clear thinking. Caffeine can also improve alertness after sleep deprivation. Combining caffeine with glucose as an "energy drink" seems to improve mental performance better than either caffeine or glucose alone.
Possibly Effective for:
- Reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Some research suggests that drinking more than 3 cups of coffee daily may significantly reduce the risk of rectal cancer.
- Preventing dizziness in older people caused by low blood pressure after eating a meal (postprandial hypotension). Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee seems to increase blood pressure in elderly people who experience dizziness after meals.
- Preventing or delaying Parkinson's disease. There is evidence that people who drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and cola have a decreased risk of Parkinson's disease. For men, the effect seems to depend on the amount of caffeine consumed. Men who drink the most caffeinated coffee, 28 ounces (three to four cups) per day, seem to have the greatest reduction in risk. But drinking even 1 or 2 cups of coffee cuts their Parkinson’s disease risk significantly. In women, the effect does not seem to depend so much on the amount of caffeine consumed. Moderate consumption of caffeinated coffee, 1-3 cups daily, provides the most reduction in risk in women. Interestingly, coffee does not seem to help prevent Parkinson’s disease in people who smoke cigarettes.
- Preventing gallstones. Drinking caffeinated beverages, including coffee, that provide at least 400 mg of caffeine per day seems to reduce the risk of developing gallstones. The greater the intake of caffeine, the lower the risk. Drinking 800 mg caffeine per day (four or more cups of coffee) has the greatest reduction in risk.
- Preventing type 2 diabetes. Drinking caffeinated coffee seems to significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As caffeine consumption goes up, the risk of developing diabetes goes down. But the effect seems to be different in different groups of people. In North American adults, drinking 6 or more cups of coffee per day is associated with a 54% lower risk of developing diabetes in men and a 29% lower risk in women. In European adults, drinking 5-6 cups of coffee per day reduces diabetes risk by 61% in women and 30% in men. Drinking 10 or more cups of coffee per day reduces diabetes risk by 79% in women and 55% in men. Japanese adults who drink 3 or more cups of coffee per day have a 42% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who drink only one cup per day or less. Decaffeinated coffee doesn’t seem to lower the risk of getting diabetes.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Reducing the risk of digestive tract cancers, including esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers.
- Reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for:
- Lung cancer. Some research concludes that drinking caffeinated coffee may help to prevent lung cancer, but other research disagrees. It’s too early to draw firm conclusions. Meanwhile, some research suggests that drinking decaffeinated coffee may help to prevent lung cancer.
- Gout. There is some evidence that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee seem to help to prevent gout, but caffeinated coffee works better.
- Improving thinking. There is developing evidence suggesting that drinking more coffee over a lifetime might improve thinking skills among women older than 80 years of age.
Interactions with Diseases
- ANXIETY DISORDERS: The caffeine in coffee might aggravate anxiety disorders.
- BLEEDING DISORDERS: Theoretically, caffeine in coffee might aggravate bleeding conditions. Caffeine is reported to have antiplatelet activity; however, this interaction has not been reported in humans. There is some evidence caffeinated coffee may increase fibrinolytic activity in blood. Caffeine can prolong bleeding time and increase the results of a bleeding time test .
- CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: Consumption of unfiltered (boiled) coffee increases plasma homocysteine levels, serum cholesterol, and triglycerides, which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease . Some research suggests an association between heart attacks and coffee consumption. Regular coffee consumption of 300 mL/day or more is associated with an increase in the risk of developing acute coronary syndromes. Heavy coffee consumption also seems to increase risk in people with existing coronary heart disease. More than 5 cups of coffee on a regular basis is associated with myocardial infarction and unstable angina in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).
- DIABETES: Some research suggests that caffeine contained in coffee might impair postprandial glucose metabolism in people with diabetes and contribute to insulin resistance. The effect of caffeinated beverages and herbs has not been studied . The caffeine in coffee may enhance the frequency and intensity of hypoglycemic warning symptoms in patients with type 1 diabetes. Theoretically, this may increase the ability of diabetics to detect and treat hypoglycemia early. However, it might also increase the frequency of hypoglycemic events. Some clinical research suggests symptoms of hypoglycemia are more intense at onset in the absence of caffeine, but with increasing duration of hypoglycemia, symptoms are greater with caffeine. Caffeine has been reported to cause increases and decreases in blood glucose ; use with caution.
- DIARRHEA: Coffee contains caffeine. The caffeine in coffee, especially when taken in large amounts, can exacerbate diarrhea.
- GLAUCOMA: Drinking caffeinated coffee increases intraocular pressure. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and persists for at least 90 minutes.
- HYPERTENSION: Consuming caffeinated coffee might increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this effect might be less in habitual caffeine users.
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS): Coffee contains caffeine. The caffeine in coffee, especially when taken in large amounts, can exacerbate diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.
- OSTEOPOROSIS: Consuming caffeinated coffee can increase urinary excretion of calcium. Caffeine consumption should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (approximately 2-3 cups of coffee). Adequate calcium supplementation may partially compensate for calcium losses. Postmenopausal women identified with a genetic variant of the vitamin D receptor should use caffeine with caution.