Have coffee addicts won a small victory with this one?
The results of a caffeine study by Korean scientists show some benefits to consuming a certain amount of coffee on a daily basis.
According to Quartz, the U.S. dietary guidelines advisory committee reported last week that drinking three to five cups a day may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The Korean scientists studied 25,000 people at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, monitoring the amount of calcium in the arteries that supply the heart with blood; calcium deposits can indicate the early stages of coronary atherosclerosis. For those with that condition, the arteries are blocked by “fatty substances,” which may lead to arteries hardening and becoming narrower. That, in turn, may result in blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes.
Results indicated that calcium amounts were lowest for those participants who drank three to five cups of coffee per day, and highest in those who drank less than one. One to three time a day consumers fell in the middle.
It was also discovered, though, that more than five cups a day resulted in higher calcium presence than any of the other three groups.
But should Americans be making our caffeine decisions based on this study?
“This is what we call an association study. They notice that there’s some action that is now associated with another result. It does not mean that it’s a cause and effect. They looked at 25,000 people, all in Korea, and they are different. They have different foods, different stresses, what they breathe in from the environment…so it’s difficult to say that Americans would have the same result, but it opens our eyes that this is a possibility,” Dr. Nina Radcliff explained to The Hot Zone. “Before any group of experts make any recommendations, they need to look at this across different ages and health conditions, and if we’re making recommendations in the U.S., we do need to look at this in a population that represents the U.S.”
Dr. Radcliff did confirm, though, that studies have shown reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes related to coffee consumption.
So, as with most things, you’re probably better off enjoying coffee in moderation, but keep in mind that different regions of the world may not all share the same impact on health.
The Korean scientists acknowledged that more research on the topic is still necessary.