Many people are aware that coffee has a number of health benefits, including helping to improve memory and other cognitive functions. What many don’t know, however, is that coffee is also good for your heart.
Studies have found that coffee actually has cardioprotective properties. What this means is that the beverage can actually help reduce the drinker’s chances of developing heart disease. The reason for its cardioprotective properties is not known, though some theories suggest it is because it helps the body get rid of lipids in the blood while other theories state it is because of the stimulant effects.
In the past, many believed that coffee actually lead to increased risks of heart disease. A study in 2004 found that coffee does elevate biochemical markers in the body that indicate inflammation. For this reason, the researchers concluded that it is best to keep the amount of coffee consumed per day down to four or less 20 fluid ounce cups per day.
Decaffeinated coffee has also been studied for its affects on the heart. The type of process used to decaffeinate the coffee appears to have an impact on the effect the coffee has on the heart. This is because some use steam to decaffeinate the bean while others uses organic solvents.
Some research has indicated that a substance by the name of cafestol, which is found in boiled coffee drinks, can increase the cholesterol levels of the drinker. This appeared to b particularly true in women. When coffee is filtered, however, it only contains trace amounts of this substance.
According to some of the most recent research, however, coffee consumption has no direct link to coronary heart disease. In fact, a Harvard study that took place in 2006 and that looked at a significant sample group of 128,000 came to this conclusion. Rather, the study found that those that consumed coffee also tended to engage in other activities that increased their risk or heart disease, including smoking, drinking alcohol, and failure to get enough exercise. It should be noted that this research focused only on filtered coffee and not boiled coffee and espresso.
Another study, which was conducted by the Women’s Health Study, found that female coffee drinkers had less incidents of cardiovascular disease as well as lower cancer rates than the population in general. For those that drank six or more cups of coffee per day, the health benefits were significantly increased.
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