This Recent Study's Findings About Coffee And Heart Health Might Surprise You

If you're a regular coffee drinker, you've probably had occasions when you found yourself a bit jittery after having one cup too many. While it's no secret that the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, a consensus about whether it is responsible for any lasting negative effects has been a frequent point of debate. Thankfully, the results of a 2021 study by the University of California have debunked the commonly held belief that drinking coffee is detrimental to your heart (via Science Daily).

As Gregory Marcus MD reports, people often associate high coffee consumption with a worsening of heart arrhythmias, defined by the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute as an issue with heart rate or rhythm. The source explains that some people have an increased or decreased rate, whereas others experience an uneven heart beat. It's not hard to see why people make the leap from symptoms of being over caffeinated to potential long-term issues with heart rate and beat. However, they can continue to drink their coffee, with the added knowledge that a 3% decrease in chances of arrhythmia was measured with every extra cup of coffee the study participants drank (via Science Daily).

What was the study able to conclude?

Science Daily explains that the study included hundreds of thousands of participants and checked up on them after four years to see whether any had developed arrhythmias. Numerous factors were considered, including certain genetic differences that cause a variation in the metabolization of caffeine (via Science Daily). According to the study, which was published in the journal of JAMA Internal Medicine, even those participants with a potential predisposed risk to caffeine didn't suffer any consequences from continued consumption.

While 4% of the participants eventually had issues with heart arrhythmias, Marcus believes that coffee's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics are partly responsible for the beneficial effects measured. Nevertheless, the specifics of the findings do not yet point to a causal relationship. If you regularly find yourself shaky after too many cups of coffee, be sure to moderate your consumption. Likewise, prioritize simple black coffee since added cream and sugar can negate some of the positive effects, as nutrition professor Penny Kris-Etherton tells the American Heart Association.