Excessive coffee consumption can harm your heart health, finds a new study.
In a first global genetic study, researchers at the Australian Center for Precision Health at the University of South Australia found that long-term heavy coffee consumption – six cups or more a day – can increase the number of lipids (fats) in your blood to greatly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
It’s important to note that this correlation is both positive and dose-dependent, meaning the more coffee you drink, the greater your risk for cardiovascular disease. It’s a bitter pill, especially for coffee lovers, but according to UniSA researcher Professor Elina Hypponen, it’s a pill we have to swallow if we are to keep our hearts healthy.
“There is certainly a lot of scientific debate about the pros and cons of coffee, but while it may seem like we are going into ancient ground, it is essential to fully understand how one of the most consumed drinks in the world can have an impact on our health, “says Professor Hypponen.
“In this study, we examined the genetic and phenotypic associations between coffee consumption and plasma lipid profiles – cholesterols and fats in your blood – finding causal evidence that habitual coffee consumption contributes to an unfavorable lipid profile. which may increase your risk of heart disease, “added Professor Hypponen.
Professor Hypponen added: “High blood lipid levels are a known risk factor for heart disease, and it is interesting that coffee beans contain a very potent cholesterol-raising compound (cafestol), it was helpful. to examine them together. “
Cafestol is mainly found in unfiltered infusions, such as French, Turkish and Greek coffees, but it is also present in espressos, which are the basis of most coffees made by baristas, including lattes and cappuccinos. .
There is no or very little cafestol in filtered and instant coffee, so when it comes to lipid effects, these are good coffee choices.
“The implications of this study are potentially vast. In my opinion, it is especially important for people with high cholesterol or who are concerned about heart disease to choose carefully the type of coffee they drink,” he said. declared Professor Hypponen.
Professor Hypponen added: “It is important to note that the coffee-lipid association is dose-dependent – the more unfiltered coffee you drink, the more it increases your blood lipids, which puts you at greater risk of disease. heart. ”Worldwide, approximately 3 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming an estimated 17.9 million deaths each year.
The study used data from 362,571 UK Biobank participants, aged 37 to 73, using a triangulation of phenotypic and genetic approaches to perform comprehensive analyzes.
While the jury is still out on coffee’s health effects, Professor Hypponen said it is always wise to choose filtered coffee when possible and beware of abuse, especially when it is a stimulant such as coffee.
“Coffee being at the heart of the hearts of many people, it will always be a controversial subject,” said Professor Hypponen.
“Our research shows that too much coffee is clearly not good for cardiovascular health, which certainly has implications for those already at risk. Health is generally good advice,” concluded Professor Hypponen.