A new study warns drinking more than six cups of coffee daily can be damaging to your health and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease by 22 per cent. Even though heart disease is a leading cause of death, it is preventable, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Researchers Dr Ang Zhou and Elina Hypponen of the Australian Centre for Precision Health decided to investigate the link between cardiovascular disease and coffee consumption. "Coffee is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the world - it wakes us up, boosts our energy and helps us focus - but people are always asking 'How much caffeine is too much?'," Hypponen told a news portal. Adding,"Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseous - that's because the caffeine helps your body work faster and harder, but it is also likely to suggest that you may have reached your limit for the time being," Hypponen added.
For the study, the team studied the data of 347,077 participants ( between the ages of 37 to 73) from the UK Biobank. To understand the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in association with coffee consumption and genetic variations, researchers carefully examined the caffeine-metabolising gene (CYP1A2).
Hypponen notes that even though carriers of the fast-processing gene variation is four times faster at metabolising caffeine, the team does not believe people can still consume more caffeine without it have an impact on one's health. "Knowing the limits of what's good for you and what's not is imperative. As with many things, it's all about moderation; overindulge and your health will pay for it," Hypponen told a news portal.
Through the study, they also found that too much coffee can significantly increase the risk of high blood pressure, which is a predictor of heart disease. "In order to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, people must limit their coffees to fewer than six cups a day - based on our data six was the tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk," Hypponen told a news portal. The study's findings were originally published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Previous research has also found pregnant women who consume caffeine are more likely to have smaller babies than those who avoid the beverage during pregnancy. "High caffeine intake can result in restricted blood flow in the placenta which may subsequently affect fetal growth," lead study author Ling-Wei Chen, a researcher at University College Dublin in Ireland told a news portal. Adding, "Caffeine can also cross the placenta readily, and because caffeine clearance slows as pregnancy progresses, caffeine accumulation may occur in fetal tissues."