Coffee is often the subject of scientific research. Caffeine-based drinks are consumed all over the world at breakfast or after lunch, while chatting with other people or at coffee shops as an energizing break. How much coffee should you consume per day? A recent study at the University of South Australia established the amount of coffee we should drink per day, beyond which too much can harm our health, especially the heart. According to the results of the survey, taking 6 or more cups of espresso every day can increase cardiovascular risk. The findings are published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (March 2019).
A MODERATE COFFEE CONSUMPTION BRINGS HEALTH BENEFITS
The investigation carried out by researchers from the Australian Center for Precision Health University of South Australia analyzed genetic data and information on the usual coffee intake in a sample of nearly 350,000 people. Data were extracted from the UK Biobank (huge database referring to a large English long-term study), including almost 8.4 thousand cases of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke.
From the statistical analysis of the data, it emerged that the cardiovascular risk (understood as hypertension and increased incidence of myocardial infarction) is associated with the amount of coffee consumed daily. Specifically, Australian researchers found that drinking 6 or more cups of coffee a day increases cardiovascular risk by 22% (compared to those who drink only one or two). The study also brings with it a new revelation. In other words, even those who do not drink coffee at all or those who choose decaffeinated have a slight increase in cardiovascular risk, respectively 11% for those who do not drink it and 7% for those who prefer decaffeinated. As often happens, it is moderate consumption which, on the other hand, brings benefits. In fact, those who drink one to two coffees a day have a very low risk, as well as those who drink three or four. The protective effect of moderate coffee consumption lies in the presence of certain substances, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
5 COFFEE A DAY IS THE MAXIMUM DOSE
In this study, the researchers also analyzed data referring to a particular gene (CYP1A2) that regulates the metabolism of caffeine (caffeine-GS). They found that a mutation in this gene correlated with a four times higher ability to metabolize caffeine. The cross-analysis of the data, however, shows that even in the presence of this mutation (which involves a faster metabolism of caffeine) the cardio-vascular risk remains unchanged, without decreasing in subjects carrying the CYP1A2 gene. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set limits for the amount of caffeine to be consumed every day without harm to health. This is a daily dose ranging from 200 to 400 mg, with a limited quantity that corresponds to a maximum of 5 cups of espresso coffee per day.
Ang Zhou, Elina Hyppönen – Long-term coffee consumption, caffeine metabolism genetics, and risk of cardiovascular disease: a prospective analysis of up to 347,077 individuals and 8368 cases – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (March 2019)