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Coffee - Two Or More Cups May Reduce Stroke Risk

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:23 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Smoking, Coffee Consumption, Stroke, Heart Attack, Caffeine

Two or more cups of coffee may provide a reduction in the risk of stroke for women this research finds.  



 IMAGE SOURCE:  Wikimedia Commons/ cup of coffee/ author: Julius Schorzman


For many people whether it’s good for you or bad for you doesn’t matter – in the morning coffee is king.

Now some good news for those who have the morning coffee habit.  Drinking as little as two cups a day may boost the protection against stroke for women.  Any benefits appear to be wiped out if the person is also a smoker. 

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study gathered between 1980 and 2004.  In all, 83,000 women were participants and none had heart disease, a history of stroke, diabetes, or cancer when the study started.  

After 24 years, 2,300 women had strokes, mostly ischemic where a blood vessel is blocked.  

After consideration of factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption, researchers found that two or three cups of caffeinated coffee daily resulted in a 19 percent lower risk for stroke than among those who consumed less than one cup a month.  Drinking four or more cups of coffee daily lowered the risk by 20 percent. 

On the other end - women consuming five to seven cups a week had a 12 percent reduction in the risk of stroke.

After factoring out smokers or those who had quit smoking, four cups of coffee or more a day had a 43 percent reduced risk for all types of stroke.  Smokers who drank coffee reduced their risk by three percent. 

Among those who consumed caffeinated tea and soft drinks there was no similar benefit observed.   Researchers theorize there is a component in coffee, besides the caffeine, that may provide some protection.

The flip side of too much coffee is that it can lead to insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, and cardiac complications. 

But consuming four cups of coffee a day is bad news for diabetics, according to a study released last year by Duke University researchers. Among the caffeine users, researchers saw glucose levels rise by eight percent.  Compare that to consuming a meal such as dinner when blood sugars grow by about 26 percent.   

The other known stroke reducer is exercise, so combining coffee with exercise and a Mediterranean diet of monounsaturated fats, plant protein, whole grains, and fish might offer the maximum benefit.

The research is published in the current issue of Circulation. #  

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