Caffeine and Coffee: Working to Better Your Health

Caffeine and Coffee

Many start their mornings with a hot cup of caffeinated coffee but how much do we really know about the beverage we drink so consistently? A new study suggests that the caffeine in your morning coffee may be helping more than just your early morning yawn, it may be helping to better your health.

On Wednesday at the American Heart Association meeting in Dallas Texas a new study funded by the All Japan Coffee Association presented its results. Some of the major findings in the study were:

  • Caffeinated coffee resulted in a 30 percent increase in blood flow over a 75-minute period when compared against decaf.
  • Caffeinated coffee slightly raised the blood pressure of participants and caused an increase of functioning in the cells that lined blood vessel walls.
  • There was no difference in heart rate levels between participants that had regular coffee and those that had decaffeinated coffee.

Caffeine Coffee Cup

The participants in the study ranged from 22 to 30 years of age. The study consisted of 27 total participants that did not regularly drink coffee. Participants were asked to drink a 5-ounce cup of coffee. Participants along with researches were not told which cups contained caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Two days later participants would repeat the process with the other type of coffee.

As for the process of collecting data a researcher would place a probe on the tip of the participants left thumb or index finger. The probe would measure blood flow in the digit by shining a laser beam into the blood and measuring how much it was scattered by the red blood cells moving. This technique is called laser doppler flowmetry.

The tests showed that blood pressure rose in the participants that drank caffeinated coffee although the caffeine did not cause their hearts to beat any faster. The researchers also measured the amount of adrenaline in the blood plasma of participants and found that those that drank caffeinated coffee and those that drank decaffeinated coffee had nearly the same levels.

Caffeine/Coffee art

Lead researcher Masato Tsutsui, professor at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan sounded hopeful about the studies findings. “This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health.” This study is one of the many that aim to discover more about coffee, the most widely consumed beverage across the world. Previous studies yielded results that link coffee to lower risks of fatal heart disease and stroke as well as improved functions of the larger arteries.

Tsutsui goes on to say “If we know how the positive effects of coffee work, it could lead to a new treatment strategy for cardiovascular disease in the future.” He also suggested that caffeine may help to reduce inflammation. With so many new studies and so much new information coming to light, caffeine and coffee may be more beneficial to everyone’s health than the world suspected. What health benefits are left to be discovered about caffeine and coffee?


By Garrett Jutte

Los Angeles Times

Health Canal

USA Today

The Independent


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