Saturday, March 20, 2010

Coffee for the Heart

Coffee drinkers who've been upping their java consumption in light of reports about coffee's various health benefits can rest easy (if all that caffeine lets you rest at all): Coffee drinking isn't associated with a greater risk of heart arrhythmia. In fact, contrary to popular belief, a new study finds that people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily were actually 18% less likely to be admitted to the hospital for a heart-rhythm disturbance than coffee abstainers. Researchers confessed to being surprised by the results, because patients sometimes report forceful heartbeats or palpitations after drinking coffee. If you have trouble tolerating caffeine or coffee, the scientists added, their study shouldn't change the advice to avoid both, nor should you take up the habit in hopes of preventing arrhythmias. But moderate coffee drinkers should take comfort in the results. Sorry, tea lovers, the seven-year study of 130,054 men and women found no similar benefit for tea drinking. - American Heart Association

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