No need to avoid your morning coffee or tea if you’re concerned about heart health. Researchers are reporting caffeine doesn’t cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns.
This challenges the widely held – and accepted – thought that any caffeinated drinks can cause irregular heartbeats. Leading to fatal heart rhythm disorders or heart failure, it vindicated the popular wake-up beverage from its breakfast brethren.
Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco, led the study; he thinks we should give coffee a second chance.
“Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart’s cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits,” Marcus said in a statement.
“Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant.”
Marcus’ experiment involved 1,388 people with an average age of 72; 60 percent said they drank some sort of caffeinated product every day. The team looked at coffee, tea, and chocolate specifically, and looked for instances of premature ventricular contractions and premature atrial contractions. They found nothing that connected to heart disturbances, no matter how much coffee, tea, or chocolate people had.
“Therefore, we are only able to conclude that in general, consuming caffeinated products every day is not associated with having increased ectopy or arrhythmia but cannot specify a particular amount per day,” Marcus and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Coffee could actually help your health in some circumstances, wrote Marcus’ team. Regular coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, and other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and depression. Other studies have found habitual coffee drinkers have lower rates of coronary artery disease, too.