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The Verdict on How Healthy Coffee Really Is for Your Heart

Here's what some of the top research from 2021 (so far) suggests.

Today is National Coffee Day, which means you've likely already visited your favorite coffee shop in town and ordered your go-to drink—and maybe even scored a sweet deal, too. In honor of this special day, we thought we'd try to answer a question that may be on your mind: Is coffee really healthy for your heart?

To best answer this question, we sifted through some of the top research studies published this year on coffee and heart health so that you're up-to-date on what researchers across the globe have recently discovered. Below, we cover the findings from not one but four coffee studies. After, don't forget to read 12 Surprising Recipes That Every Coffee Lover Needs to Try Immediately!

It may lower your risk of heart disease.

KWON JUNHO/ Unsplash

A recent study from the European Society of Cardiology found that drinking anywhere between a half cup to three cups of coffee per day was "was independently associated with lower risks of stroke, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause," as stated by study author Judit Simon, researcher Ph.D. candidate at the Heart and Vascular Centre, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.

More specifically, individuals who drank that amount of coffee daily had a 12% lower risk of early death from any cause, 17% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 21% lower risk of having a stroke.

It doesn't cause heart palpitations.

coffee tea

For many, consuming too much caffeine may cause you to feel uncomfortably jittery, and perhaps even anxious. However, one common misconception about coffee is that it can give you heart palpitations, otherwise known as cardiac arrhythmia, if you drink too much. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests this isn't necessarily true.

In fact, after researchers made adjustments for demographics, lifestyle habits, as well as diseases and conditions that could prompt heart palpitations, they found that each additional cup of coffee that was consumed was linked to a 3% reduced risk of arrhythmia. Now, that's not to say you should go guzzle a whole pot of coffee, but if you can tolerate three cups a day, you shouldn't worry about it causing your heart to flutter.

It may also benefit your liver.

iced coffee

Aside from potential heart health benefits, the latest research also indicates that coffee can provide protective benefits for your liver. A study published in the journal BMC Public Health in June revealed that coffee drinkers were 21% less likely to develop chronic liver disease, 20% less likely to have either chronic liver or fatty liver disease, and 49% less likely to die from chronic liver disease than those who didn't drink coffee. 

But too much may have the opposite effect . . .


Too much of anything can't be good for your health, right?

A study published in February of this year in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that consuming six or more cups of coffee daily may increase the number of lipids (fats) in your blood. This increase in lipids could significantly heighten your risk of heart disease. Researchers believe a compound in coffee called cafestol is largely to blame, which is known to elevate cholesterol levels, and is extracted from coffee grounds through hot water.

However, it's important to point out that cafestol is usually captured by a paper coffee filter, so you may be in the clear if you still do drip coffee with filters (and drink upwards of six cups of coffee daily).

Bottom line

Everyone has their own tolerance to caffeine, but it's likely best to cap your consumption at three cups of coffee a day to ensure that you reap the heart (and liver!) benefits without becoming shaky, or worse, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease in the long run.

For more, be sure to check out Drinking This Daily Could Prevent Major Heart Complications, New Study Says. Then, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter!

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne