Five Ways Coffee Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Five Ways Coffee Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number one cause of death in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease, which kills one-third more Americans than cancer.

There are many misconceptions regarding coffee and its role in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Research indicates that the antioxidants and caffeine in coffee provide a variety of protective benefits for the cardiovascular system. Let’s explore the truth on this matter.

Benefit #1: Coffee actually helps reduce high blood pressure

The news media has helped promote the myth that coffee is responsible for raising blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of CVD. It is true that most people experience a short-term, acute increase in blood pressure after ingesting caffeine. Blood pressure will then return to normal once the caffeine is metabolized.

Even though it is clear that drinking coffee can raise blood pressure shortly after consumption, longer term effects are positive. The long-term benefits of the compounds in coffee include a drop in blood pressure readings after just a mere 8 weeks. This positive effect has been attributed to a very high concentration of antioxidants in coffee called chlorogenic acids that protect the arteries. This also explains how coffee consumption helps reduce the risk of strokes.

Benefit #2: Coffee inhibits platelet aggregation

Regardless of its caffeine content, it has been demonstrated that a single cup of coffee inhibited platelet aggregation within only one hour.

Platelets are cells that circulate in the blood and they will clot together to stop bleeding. If there are too many platelets in the blood, they can result in the formation of blood clots. These blood clots can obstruct blood vessels and lead to stroke or heart attack. Some people take anti-platelet drugs to inhibit platelet clotting, but caffeine has proven to be effective at reducing clotting.

Benefit #3:Coffee improves levels of HDL cholesterol and reduces inflammation

More good news: studies found that regular coffee consumption improved inflammation biomarkers and raised HDL, the "good" cholesterol. For example, in one study in which regular coffee drinkers were followed for three months and asked to increase their coffee intake to 4 and then a whopping 8 cups a day, HDL cholesterol increased by 7 percent and the ratio between the bad LDL cholesterol and HDL readings decreased by 8 percent.

Biomarkers of chronic inflammation that targets the cardiovascular system called C-reactive protein decreased by 16 percent. Researchers were encouraged by the effect of coffee’s antioxidant-rich profile as a simple treatment for cardiovascular health.

Benefit #4: Long-term coffee consumption is associated with lower levels of CVD

Longer-term, drinking coffee cuts the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. A 15-year, large-scale study of over 41,000 women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease was 24 percent lower among those consuming 1 to 3 cups of coffee daily.

Benefit #5: Coffee consumption is associated with decreased coronary calcification

Research from the Netherlands has demonstrated a link between coffee consumption and decreased coronary calcification. Coronary calcification has been identified as a major risk factor that predicts coronary heart disease and future heart attacks. The more calcium present, the greater the risk of suffering a heart attack.

Researchers suggest that the antioxidants in coffee protect against calcium buildup in the coronary arteries, resulting in a benefit for cardiovascular health. Habitual coffee consumption appears to necessary for a significant protective cardiovascular benefit.

 

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