Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may slash the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke by more than a fifth, new research has claimed.
The lowest cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk is seen at an intake of approximately 3 cups of coffee per day, with a percentage risk reduction of up to 21 per cent, according to a report published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC).
Two 2014 meta-analyses suggest an association between coffee consumption and CVD risk, proposing a ‘U-shaped’ pattern whereby optimal protective effects were achieved with 3-5 cups of coffee per day.
Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day is associated with an approximate 25 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to consuming none or less than 2 cups per day, researchers said.
People with diabetes typically have a higher CVD mortality risk, therefore this association may be linked to a decreased CVD risk.
The report concludes that recent research supports the view that moderate coffee consumption at approximately 3-5 cups per day may have a protective effect against CVD mortality risk.
The mechanisms of action behind the associations are unclear, however areas of interest for future research include the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of coffee, and the known association between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes risk reduction as CVD mortality is typically higher in this group, researchers said.
It is important to note that results differ between varying populations; it is suggested that 2 cups of coffee per day may offer the greatest protection in a Japanese population, whilst 3 cups may provide the greatest protection in UK and US populations.
“It is important to acknowledge factors which might have a protective effect against CVD mortality. Moderate coffee consumption could play a significant role in reducing CVD mortality risk which would impact health outcomes and healthcare spending across Europe,” said Professor Doutor Antonio Vaz Carneiro of the Faculdade de Medicine da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.