Research shows that coffee is good for your heart, we alway’s knew this to be true. Now someone with creds’ claims this as well, read on.

The following is an excerpt taken from the April 1, 2012 Detroit Free Press in the Harvard Medical School Adviser.

QUESTION: I drink coffee every day, sometimes as much as three or four cups. I also have heart disease. I’d hate to give up coffee, but I worry it may be adding to my heart trouble. Should I quit or cut down?

ANSWER: Coffee is popular because it tastes good, and it makes most people feel better. Perhaps that’s why it’s been blamed for innumerable woes. Some people assume that anything that feels good or tastes good must be bad for you.

Coffee has taken the rap for serious illnesses ranging from heart attacks and strokes to cancer of the pancreas. Careful studies have debunked these fears, but lingering concerns persist.

That’s why coffee lovers will welcome a study that makes coffee seem a bit sweeter. The research was conducted in Israel, where coffee is nearly as popular as in the U.S.

Instead of testing coffee in a cup, a team of Israeli scientists evaluated its most notorious ingredient, caffeine. Their subjects were 80 volunteers with an average age of 53. Half the participants had stable coronary artery disease, while the others were free of cardiovascular disease; 83% were male.

Each volunteer underwent two tests, performed one to two weeks apart. On each occasion, endothelial function — critical to vascular health — was tested just before and again one hour after the individual swallowed a capsule containing the test substance. On one of the two tests, the capsule contained a placebo; on the other, it contained 200 milligrams of caffeine, about 2 1/2 times the amount in a typical cup of coffee.

Caffeine actually improved endothelial function. The improvement was substantial in both groups, but was greater in the healthy subjects than in the patients who had atherosclerosis. Caffeine did not affect the response to nitroglycerin, a standard drug for angina, in either group.

The study does not make coffee into a health food. But it does add to the large brew of scientific evidence that tells us coffee is safe for the heart. So, listen to your body; if it handles coffee well, then enjoy drinking it.

Have a question? Send it to harvard_adviser@hms.harvard.edu

Filed under Around the Coffee Pot, Coffee Facts

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