Two cups of coffee may help protect your heart
June 26th, 2012
05:11 PM ET

Two cups of coffee may help protect your heart

That morning cup o' joe or mid-afternoon coffee pick-me-up may play a role in keeping your heart healthy, depending on how much you drink.

A meta-analysis of five previously completed prospective studies finds that drinking two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day gives people an 11% lower risk of developing heart failure, compared to people who don't consume any coffee.

The analysis, published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Heart Failure, reviewed five studies conducted between 2001 and 2011 and included a total of 140,220 patients.

"Heart failure shares risk factors with other cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes are particularly strong risk factors for heart failure," explains Elizabeth Mostofsky, the first author of the analysis and a post doctoral research fellow at the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

"We think coffee is lowering the risk for diabetes, which is lowering the risk for heart failure."

But don't reach for the coffee pot just yet. Drinking two cups of coffee may help prevent heart failure, but Mostofsky and her colleagues found that drinking more than four cups a day seems to undermine the protective quality.

"Protection slowly decreases with more consumption and it seems there's no further benefit for people who drink five or more servings a day and there may actually be potential for harm," says Mostofsky.

The studies that made up the analysis did not take into account if participants drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. However, Mostofsky notes that the studies were conducted in Finland and Sweden, two countries where caffeinated coffee is typically consumed. The studies also did not look at how the coffee was brewed, how strong it was, or what time of day the participants drank it.

Still, the analysis jibes with previous research that shows two cups of coffee may be good for you. Last month, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that found drinking at least two cups of coffee was linked to a longer life.

For its part, the American Heart Associated recommends that patients with heart failure limit their intake to no more two 8-ounce cups of coffee or any other caffeinated beverage, a day.

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Some Study

    Didn't write down if it had caffeine or not?
    Didn't write down if it was consumed with a meal or on its own mid-day?

    Some study! Who funded this non-scientific coffee house marathon?
    How about a little bit of scientific method next time in your scientific studies?

    June 27, 2012 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. quantumelf

    Hey "Some Study"! Did you actually read the published paper in the AHA journal? My guess is 'no'. You likely just read the CNN article before going on your rant.

    June 27, 2012 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JMD

    Coffee has caffeine, decaf has less. If it was with meal or not, this doesnt matter, caffeine enters the blood. soundoff, thats common sense? Thats a BIG duh. Nice to know there are people that can bash an articale, when they are too lame to know the answer in the first place or too LAZY to look for answers themselves. Time of day is crucial though ~ PhD

    June 27, 2012 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. caffeine?

    Thats great news, however, it is not clear what kind of evidence this study provides. According to Natural standard (the authority in integrative medicine), caffeine may raise glucose levels and has been associated with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. To learn more about caffeine benefit/harms visit http://www.naturalstandard.com

    June 27, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Carm

    I'll drink to that.

    June 27, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BOB

    i see it this way old people quit listing to the tv get out and walk play with grand children in other words get of your butt and quit feeling sorry for yourself play solitair on the computor or with a deck of cards keep your mind busy and less time to think about your aces and pains i know some people really are sick but guess that over half the people who go to the doctors are lonely bored or just watched some tv add that told you you were sick i am 69 and yes if i listen to the tv ever time i feel bad off to the doctors i would go its 50% money in adds to make you think you are sick ., POWER OFF SUGGESTION ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WEPONS IN THE WORLD i am not saying quite going to doctor just saying go for the right reason example mother 86 had same doctor for 25 yrs he died she went to a new doctor who took her off 75% of the meds she was on that was 5 yrs ago she has been like a new women ever since i am getting tired of the pollticians sayintg we old people are going to drive bills higher and higher tell doctors to tell the truth if we sick fine but if we are there because we can't find any attention so we go to the doctors come on old people lets show them we are still usefull and vote the old goverment out and get in the new maybe they will cut meds by 75% we do make are own hell

    June 27, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stefan

      I have completed your diagnosis. You have a severe case of punctuation deficiency.

      June 27, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • ser

      this is guiness calling....CONGRATULATIONS....you have just broken the record for longest run-on sentence.

      June 27, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Joli

      I'd like to respond to your post, but I just fainted after attempting to read your run-on sentence. 🙁 Remember, commas and periods are your friends. 🙂

      June 27, 2012 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      to the 3 ans sorry you were more concerened with periods and punctuation deficenncy. and god forbid you can not drive on a paved road if ther is no lines to tell you what side to stay on. people like you scare the hell out of me we have a whole goverment full of people like you. worried about nothing but someones writting ablities. i would bet you are costing medcade and medcare a bundle ea year, and ask anybody who writes a book how much time they spend on punctution deficency write it down and sort it out later

      June 27, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • A

      ......there's the practical matter of not being able to read what you wrote! It's not simply feeling uncomfortable that there is no structure. Like the lines on the road for example (actually important for drivers so they don't get into accidents – practicality again...)

      June 28, 2012 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
  7. rvastag

    So a cup of coffee with breakfast. A glass of wine with lunch. Another cup of coffee in the afternoon. And a glass of wine with dinner.

    oh, and 8 glasses of water in between.

    June 27, 2012 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      with all that fluid they should do a study on how much toilet flushing was done...

      June 27, 2012 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
  8. CW

    "The studies that made up the analysis did not take into account if participants drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee."

    Way to do a sloppy, unscientific study. Pathetic.

    June 27, 2012 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ian Welch

    Keep in mind coffee is highly acidic and not a benefit to chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease.

    Top Nine Causes of Acidity

    Heartburn is a primary indicator that your body is not well.

    I have very specific memories of being highly acidic prior to my diagnosis of heart disease.

    I recall on a daily basis having issues with stomach acid and many nights literally waking up choking on acid reflux. I was chewing tums, drinking baking soda and googling all kinds of home remedies … one remedy was to drink a vinegar and mustard mix, not in the least bit enjoyable. I also would drink huge amounts of milk in an effort to quell the burn; I now understand that was the equivalent of adding gas to the fire.

    I cannot possibly encompass all the benefits of maintaining a pH balanced body. Volumes have been written however we continue to simply look for a quick fix vs. understanding the mechanics of acid reflux.

    Top Nine Causes of Acidity

    Chocolate: Chocolate contains caffeine and other stimulants such as theobromine, which cause reflux. Chocolate is high in fat, and fat causes reflux.

    Fried Food: Fried food is the single most recognized cause of reflux. It is also the food most often associated with heartburn, which is chest pain from esophageal reflux.

    Deep-fried (or even not-so-deep-fried) foods are on the “bad list” because of their high fat content

    Alcohol: Alcohol is believed to relax the valve at the bottom of the esophagus (where it joins the stomach), leading to reflux.
    Dairy: All high-fat foods cause reflux

    Meats: Acid reflux is caused by high-fat cuts of meat—beef, pork, lamb—which stay longer in the stomach and increase the chance of acid reflux.

    Caffeine: Coffee is highly acidic and it can stimulate the hypersecretion of gastric acids. Decaffeinated coffee has been shown to increase acidity to a greater degree than either regular coffee or caffeine alone. Coffee tends to speed up the process of gastric emptying, which may result in highly acidic stomach contents passing into the small intestine more rapidly than normal. This may lead to injury of the intestinal tissue

    Full List Here: http://wholefed.org/2012/06/20/plop-plop-fizz-fizz-oh-how-dangerous-it-is/

    Ian Welch

    June 27, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tomasz

    Relying on these studies, how can we say if there is a causal link between drinking coffe and improving one's heart condition? Maybe people who drink coffe share certain good habits which positively affect their health whereas others don't have these habits. Or maybe among those who don't drink coffee there are more people with high blood pressure, who don't drink coffee since it may cause harm. And those who can drink coffee are generally less predisposed to high blood pressure and their heart is in better shape not because of but in spite of drinking coffee?

    June 27, 2012 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. dennis jonee

    Nothing in the article says that caffeine is the component that affects the result. It is just assumed. Not very scientific.

    June 27, 2012 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dennis jonee

      Follow up to my previous comment.

      That is one of the problems with meta analysis.

      June 27, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  12. Boo

    Beware of any study that uses the word "may" in it....chances are that six months from now another study will debunk this study.

    June 27, 2012 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Paul

    Wait five years and the conclusions will change. I think it's rather foolish to believe these kinds of studies when so often they are found to be flawed years later.

    June 27, 2012 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Elle Lake

    I love coffee and I recently read this great blog about how vital coffee is to the workforce...check it out:

    June 29, 2012 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Laura A. Hobson

    Glad to know with my two cups of coffee, there is some benefit.

    June 29, 2012 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. donjgen

    I thought caffeine was bad for you. This makes those who already drink coffee feel better. Nobody should surely drink coffee for the sole reason that an article says it is good for your heart. I was under the impression that caffeine is bad for the heart.

    July 9, 2012 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Val

    Oh for crying out loud! Shush! All the complaining!.....Read the article and apply it to your life, princiiples, experience, or whatever,.....jeeeesh! Its just information...as my 92 year Grandmother says, eat and drink in moderation, love, forgive, and be happy...thats the key to longevity! Scientists and research will "really" never know what works....thats why theres trial and error! If you're over 30, you already have a pretty good idea whats good, right, and will probably kill you,.......so carry on my lovely brothers and sisters! Lighten up!

    July 9, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Jonathan K.

    I agree, I don't see why people hate on coffee so much. Show me some studies that show that it truly has all these negative side effects people claim it have. It's when you get DEPENDENT on it that it becomes unhealthy. I don't drink coffee that much anymore personally (I stick to Energy Shots), but I never experienced any negative side effects when I did. Sheesh

    September 27, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
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