Coffee can be a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Caffeine use is increasing worldwide. I personally have several cups every morning and several sodas during the day. I find that consumption allows me to focus and improves my performance. For years, many professional groups have recommended that we reduce our consumption because of the theoretical risk to one’s heart or blood pressure.
Americans are dependent on their daily dose of caffeine and I am no different. I would be a bear without coffee. Standard medical education would lead me to believe that patients with arrhythmias should be cautioned against regular consumption of caffeinated beverages. The question is if this is sound advice?
The underlying motivation for many us to drink coffee is mainly concentration and memory enhancement, but coffee consumption has also been tied to reduced appetite and weight loss. These central nervous system effects are desired. Coffee and caffeine-containing products have an effect on the human cardiovascular system. These cardiovascular effects are less desired and unwanted effects. It is of interest to examine whether these effects could be detrimental to one’s health.
A new study looked at coffee and these less desirable effects. There is limited data to show that they are harmful but it is readily accepted that coffee is harmful by many experts around the globe. The study examined coffee consumption and relevant data for 296,227 participants in the UK Biobank. Researchers analyzed the date to looked for association between coffee consumption and arrhythmia.
The results contradicted conventional thinking on the topic. It revealed that regular coffee consumption was associated with a significantly lower risk of arrhythmias. Compared with no consumption, coffee consumption of 1-2, 3-4, or 5 or greater cups a day was associated with a significantly lower risk of arrhythmia. Each additional daily cup of coffee was associated with a three percent lower incidence of arrhythmia.
The bottom line: This study reveals that drinking a couple of daily cups of coffee does not lead to a greater risk of arrhythmias. In my opinion, this data debunks the common myth that consuming caffeine in coffee and other drinks could lead to a faster heartbeat and the potential for a triggered arrhythmia. This study and others that indicate lower all-cause morbidity and mortality shut the door on the harmful effects of coffee.
- S. Cappelletti, P. Daria, G. Sani, and M. Aromatario, “Caffeine: Cognitive and Physical Performance Enhancer or Psychoactive Drug?,” CN, pp. 71–88, Apr. 2015, doi: 10.2174/1570159×13666141210215655. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570159X13666141210215655
- “Frequent Coffee Consumption is Associated with Lower Incidence of Arrhythmias,” Heart Rhythm Society, 19-Jun-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.hrsonline.org/news/press-releases/frequent-coffee-consumption-associated-lower-incidence-arrhythmias. [Accessed: 24-Jun-2020]