In past blog posts, we have articulated some of the known health benefits of moderate coffee consumption. This month, we want to address one specific area of good news: coffee and other foods with caffeine do not lead to irregular cardiac rhythms as previously believed. You can now engage in moderate coffee consumption without worrying about arrhythmia.
Past studies have suggested that caffeine can cause irregular heart rhythm. Those studies caused doctors and other health professionals to warn against consuming coffee, chocolate, and other foods with significant volumes of caffeine. But a new study out of the University of California-San Francisco now says otherwise. The study is the largest ever to look at the supposed links between irregular cardiac rhythm and dietary habits.
According to lead researcher Dr. Gregory Marcus, previous recommendations to avoid foods that contain caffeine should be reconsidered by the medical community. In fact, Dr. Marcus and his fellow researchers believe that caffeine consumption might actually have positive health benefits that should be encouraged.
No Evidence of PVCs or PACs
Researchers conducted their study with a group of just under 1,400 subjects with an average age of 72. Regular caffeine consumption was reported by 60% of the subjects at the start of the study. Researchers then measured instances of premature ventricular contractions (PCVs) and premature atrial contractions (PACs) among their subjects, only to find that those who consume caffeine on a regular basis did not have a greater incidence of the contractions.
Both kinds of contractions are understood to cause the heart to beat more times than it normally would. Both are related to a long list of heart conditions including atrial fibrillation, stroke, coronary artery disease, and general heart failure.
So why the difference in the study results? The UCSF researchers say that the past studies we depended on for decades did not look at either PACs or PVCs in relation to irregular heart rhythms. That makes them flawed inasmuch as irregular heart rhythm generally begins as either PACs or PVCs.
Buttressing their claims are a significant number of observational studies that have found regular caffeine users have measurably lower rates of cardiovascular and coronary artery disease.
Everything in Moderation
We need to be careful with this good news about coffee and health. As always, everything needs to be done in moderation. Moderate coffee consumption can provide certain health benefits thanks to the caffeine it contains. But too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. So go ahead and enjoy two or three cups of good coffee every day. Just watch it on the cream and sugar, and don’t indulge yourself via multiple pots.
Here at Galaxie Coffee, we love coffee and everything that goes with it. That’s why we have been faithfully serving our customers in the greater New York area for as long as we have. We would be happy to provide your office with high-quality coffee service that includes a full line of beverages and equipment.