Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Not only does it have a distinctive smell and taste, but the beverage may provide some health benefits against cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.
However, a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that those individuals with genetic risk factors for developing cardiovascular issues tend to reduce their coffee consumption unconsciously to prevent unwanted cardiovascular problems.
The research is done by a group of scientists at the University of South Australia, Adelaide.
The findings suggest that people with arrhythmia, angina, or high blood pressure have a tendency to consume more decaf coffee and less caffeinated coffee.
More importantly, they found out a strong link between cardiovascular issues and lowered coffee consumption.
In this study, scientists analyzed data from more than 390,000 participants between 39 and 73 years old. All of them are British and white.
First, all participants had to report how often they consume coffee. At the same time, scientists noted any cardiovascular issues as well as measured their heart rate and blood pressure.
Compared to people without heart issues, people with arrhythmia, angina, or blood pressure tended to consume less caffeine.
The scientists applied Mendelian randomization to find out whether heart issues led to reduced coffee consumption or regular consumption of coffee resulted in the symptoms.
After data analysis, it suggested that a specific genetic variant might affect how much coffee you consumed.
This means that those who consume coffee regularly tend to be more genetically tolerant of caffeinated drinks compared to those who consume very little.
In contrast, those who consume decaf coffee or do not consume coffee tend to be affected by the adverse effects of the drink and can be more prone to high blood pressure.
The results of this study indicate that observational studies that suggested a link between better health and coffee consumption may have “reverse causation”. This means heart health problems resulted in individuals consuming less coffee instead of the opposite direction.
In general, further studies are necessary to verify the results and look for more links between coffee consumption and cardiovascular issues. Also, later research should use a more diverse population.
The scientists in this study recommend using a personalized and considered approach in further research when promoting high intakes of coffee or caffeinated drinks.