For those who drink coffee everyday, here's some good news, people who consume at least a cup of coffee daily may be able to reduce their risks for clogged arteries, which can lead to potentially fatal heart attack.

Findings of a new study have revealed that compared with people who do not drink coffee, those who consume several cups of coffee per day have lesser odds of developing calcium deposits in the coronary arteries.

For the new study published in the journal Heart on March 2, epidemiologist Eliseo Guallar, from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues examined the link between coffee and coronary artery calcium (CAC), an indicator of coronary atherosclerosis characterized by arteries becoming clogged by fatty substances known as plaques or atheroma. Hardened or narrowed arteries can lead to heart attack or stroke.

The researchers asked a group of over 25,000 Korean men and women who were 41 years old on average and did not have signs of heart disease about their eating and drinking habits and found that those who drink between three to five cups of coffee a day had the lowest amount of CAC, followed by the participants who consume between one to three cups of coffee per day.

The people who drank three to five cups a day had about 40 percent less calcium in their arteries compared with those who do not drink coffee while those who consume one to three cups of coffee per days had 35 percent less calcium compared with those who do not drink coffee.

The participants who had five or more cups of coffee daily had 19 percent less calcium in their arteries while those who drank one cup had 23 percent less calcium in their arteries.

It is not clear how coffee can reduce the risks of arterial disease but the researchers said that this may be due to the many antioxidants present in the beverage. They likewise pointed out that while the result of the study shows an association between the risks of heart disease and consumption of coffee, it did not prove a cause and effect relationship.

Victoria Taylor, from the British Heart Foundation likewise said that additional studies are needed to confirm the findings. She cautioned against generalizing the results because the study was based on South Korean population, which has a different lifestyle and diet. 

Photo: Rob Nguyen | Flickr

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