How any cups of coffee have you had today? If you've avoided coffee entirely in the belief that it can result in high blood pressure and other health problems, you might not be sitting quite so pretty as you think. On the other hand, if you've had up to three, you may well be reducing your chances of dying prematurely from a stroke or cardiovascular disease.
In a departure from the accepted wisdom on delicious caffeinated beverages, a new study (opens in new tab) by academics from Queen Mary University in London and Semmelweis University in Budapest suggests that rather than increasing blood pressure, drinking coffee can actually improve your cardiovascular health. Which makes an excellent case for investing in the best coffee maker.
- Find the best bean to cup coffee machine for caffeine convenience
- Alternatively, how about the best espresso machine for a serious hit?
- Go old-school with the best coffee percolator
The paper, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (opens in new tab), is the result of 11 years tracking the health of nearly half a million volunteers through the UK Biobank who showed no signs of heart disease when they signed up. Although coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, there's not actually much data on its long-term impact on cardiovascular health, and by crunching 11 years of data, the research team came to some surprising conclusions.
Far from bringing about premature death, the study concludes that regular coffee consumption is perfectly safe. "Even high daily intake was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality after a follow-up of 10 to 15 years," says study author Dr. Judit Simon, of the Heart and Vascular Centre at Semmelweis University.
And not only does there seem to be a lack of health risks, the study found that people who drink between half a cup and three cups of coffee a day were less likely to suffer strokes or die from cardiovascular disease and other causes. Further research, using data from 30,650 participants who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), strengthened the conclusion. Says Dr. Simon, "The imaging analysis indicated that compared with participants who did not drink coffee regularly, daily consumers had healthier sized and better functioning hearts. This was consistent with reversing the detrimental effects of ageing on the heart."
This isn't the first time that coffee's been found to have actual health benefits, either; a similar study (opens in new tab) in February 2021, which looked at data from three separate studies on cardiovascular health, concluded that higher coffee intake was associated with reduced risk of heart failure. So go on, have another cup; it's good for you!