Having too much coffee can damage your heart health, according to the findings in a new study. The researchers from the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the University of South Australia found that continuing, heavy consumption of coffee - six or more cups a day can increase the number of lipids (fats) in your blood to significantly intensify your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is to be noted, this correlation is both positive and dose-dependent, which means that the more coffee you drink, the greater the risk of CVD. According to UniSA researcher, Professor Elina Hypponen, this is sad news for coffee lovers but one has to understand this if they want to keep their heart-healthy.
Professor Hypponen said, "There's certainly a lot of scientific debate about the pros and cons of coffee, but while it may seem like we`re going over old ground, it's crucial to understand how one of the world`s most widely consumed drinks can impact our health.”
"In this study, we looked at genetic and phenotypic associations between coffee intake and plasma lipid profiles - the cholesterols and fats in your blood - finding causal evidence that habitual coffee consumption contributes to an adverse lipid profile which can increase your risk of heart disease," added Professor Hypponen.
Professor Hypponen further noted that high levels of blood lipids can cause heart disease. Coffee beans contain “a very potent cholesterol-elevating compound (cafestol), it was valuable to examine them together."
Cafestol can be found in unfiltered brews, such as the French press, Turkish and Greek coffees. But it is also found in espressos, like lattes and cappuccinos. Filtered coffees or instant coffee have very less or no cafestol, so with effects on lipids, those are good coffee options.
"The implications of this study are potentially broad-reaching. In my opinion, it is especially important for people with high cholesterol or who are worried about getting heart disease to carefully choose what type of coffee they drink," said Professor Hypponen.
Coffee lipid is associated with the dose of coffee - the more you drink unfiltered coffee the more risk of increasing blood lipids, “putting you at greater risk of heart disease”, noted prof Hypponen.
Around 3 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily across the globe. Most lives around the world are caused by Cardiovascular diseases, an estimation of 17.9 million lives every year. The study used data from 362,571 UK Biobank participants, aged 37-73 years, using a triangulation of phenotypic and genetic approaches to conducting comprehensive analyses. Prof. Hypponen further suggested that choosing filtered coffee is advisable and to avoid overconsumption of any coffee.
"Our research shows excess coffee is not good for cardiovascular health, which certainly has implications for those already at risk. Of course, unless we know otherwise, the well-worn adage usually fares well - everything in moderation - when it comes to health, this is generally good advice," Professor Hypponen concluded.