Caffeine helps the heart by making small blood vessels work better, a new study has found. The research might explain why coffee-drinkers have fewer cardiovascular problems than others.
"This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health," said Masato Tsutsui, lead researcher from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan.
Many studies have been published on the benefits and troubles of drinking coffee and tea. Coffee consumption has been linked to significantly lower incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD). The drink has also been linked to reduced risk of common type of skin cancer and increased odds of living for a long time.
Recent studies have found that moderate coffee consumption can cut suicide risk, but drinking excess amounts of coffee could shorten a person's lifespan ( there are drawbacks to this study). Drinking large amount of tea has been linked to increased risk of prostate cancer.
The present study found that caffeine improves cardiovascular health by enabling small blood vessels to work more efficiently.
Their study was based on a small group of 27 adults who were either given regular or non-caffeinated coffee. Participants' blood circulation was assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry.
Researchers found that people who drank caffeinated coffee had 30 percent increased blood flow when compared to people who got decaf.
The study doesn't explain how caffeine helps blood circulation. According to Tsutsui caffeine may help widen small blood vessels and reduce inflammation.
"If we know how the positive effects of coffee work, it could lead to a new treatment strategy for cardiovascular disease in the future," said Tsutsui in a news release.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.
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