Does coffee reduce heart disease risk?

Does coffee reduce heart disease risk?

Coffee lovers, take note: A new study has shown that moderate coffee drinking may be associated with a reduced risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other illnesses.

This finding, which comes from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, goes against decades of conflicting evidence about the effects of coffee and claims that coffee is bad for your heart. So what does the new research show? 

Researchers who analyzed data from three ongoing studies, which followed thousands of people over the course of about 30 years, found that those who drank coffee (caffeinated or decaf) were less likely to die from heart disease, neurological disease and type 2 diabetes than others. Even when the data were controlled for age, alcohol consumption, B.M.I. and other factors, this association between coffee drinking and reduced premature death persisted. 

But does this mean that drinking coffee actually prevents death from these conditions?

The short answer is no. "Given the observational nature of the study design, we could not directly establish a cause-effect relationship between coffee and mortality,” wrote the authors of the study.

That means that although the study shows a correlation between coffee drinking and reduced risk of premature death, it does not prove that coffee actually caused people to live longer. 

"The main takeaway is that regular consumption of coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet," said Dr. Frank Hu, senior author of the study. “People who are already drinking it should continue to enjoy it, but for people who don’t drink it or don’t like it, there’s no particular reason to start for the sole reason of health." 

To learn more about how coffee can impact your health, consult a registered dietician at Goshen Health. 

Posted: 12/09/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: coffee, diet, Heart and Vascular, heart disease

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