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The Truth About Coffee and Heart Health

By Stepy Kamei

Coffee is one of the most common drinks across the entire world. Millions of people start their mornings by downing a cup of joe (or two) in order to wake up and start the day off right. It's safe to say that the majority of people in the world seem to share one opinion about coffee: it's good. So, why is it that health researchers and experts seem to be so divided on the subject of the world's favorite beverage? Some researchers claim coffee provides plenty of health benefits, while others claim the exact opposite. It can be confusing and difficult trying to determine what's true and what isn't -- especially without the help a delicious mug of coffee that can bring your senses to focus! What follows is a breakdown of the most common claims for and against coffee, and how much validity they really have.

Coffee as a Heart-Damaging Substance

Some studies have claimed that coffee is bad for the health of the heart. Specifically, the concern is that certain compounds in coffee have the ability to stiffen the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body. When the aorta becomes stiffened and less flexible, the heart has a harder time pumping blood. You can see, then, how this could be a real threat to cardiovascular health. However, it turns out that even if a handful of studies claim to have found a link between coffee consumption and aortic stiffness, many more studies have concluded that this link is not very conclusive.

Coffee as a Heart-Healthy Drink

On the other end of the spectrum, some researchers have found that drinking coffee regularly can protect the heart against a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is a condition where plaque is built up within the arteries leading to the heart, which severely restricts blood flow.

However, some of the most recent studies have found that there is no obvious distinction between those who drink coffee and those who don't, and the development of cardiovascular disease.

Should You Drink Coffee?

It seems we may be back to square one -- should you drink coffee at all? Really, it comes down to your personal preference, as well as your personal health. One thing experts can agree on is that, while coffee is mostly more than likely harmless to physical health (when not taken excessively), it can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Therefore, if you experience high levels of anxiety, you may want to consider an alternative way to naturally boost your energy levels. It's also important to note that coffee taken excessively can lead to increased heart rate, which can actually cause bruising internally. Consult with your healthcare provider for more information on whether coffee is a good choice for you.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga. 

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