Heart Health

Perhaps more than any other area, the effect of coffee and caffeine on heart health has been the subject of extensive and sometimes conflicting research. Contrary to widespread belief, scientific evidence suggests that regular coffee drinkers may have decreased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke

Several major research study projects have examined the connection between coffee consumption and coronary heart disease (CHD) with all essentially concluding that coffee is not a risk factor. A landmark Harvard University team study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 45,000 men and looked at various cardiovascular risk factors. It concluded that coffee consumption does not cause an increased risk of CHD. Similar conclusions have been shown with women as well. The Nurses Health Study, which with 85,000 subjects is the largest study ever conducted on women, also concluded that there is no evidence that coffee drinkers have a greater risk of developing CHD.

A 2016 report led by Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco, concluded that drinking coffee, tea or chocolate does not appear to cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns.

And a 2015 report by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), a not-for-profit organisation devoted to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health, concludes that, based on current research, moderate coffee consumption at approximately 3–5 cups per day may have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease mortality risk.

Caffeine’s effect on blood pressure is still widely debated. Studies have shown that for people who don’t have caffeine on a regular basis, drinking coffee may cause blood pressure to go up – but only temporarily. As well, the body does seem to become tolerant to the effects of caffeine when it is consumed regularly, so the long-term effects on blood pressure are not well-understood. For more information, visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation or talk to a healthcare professional.