Is Coffee Good for Your Heart? - Better Nutrition

Is Coffee Good for Your Heart?

In an encouraging development in the coffee-may-be-good-for-us field, researchers have discovered at least part of why coffee appears to be beneficial for the heart.
Author:
Publish date:
In an encouraging development in the coffee-may-be-good-for-us field, researchers have discovered at least part of why coffee appears to be beneficial for the heart.

In recent years, coffee has moved off the “avoid” list and onto the “drink in moderation” list, as it seems to offer health benefits ranging from lower risks for multiple diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, to metabolic and anticancer. The new study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, finds that coffee may be beneficial in part because caffeine sets off a cascade of events in heart cells, starting with their energy stores, mitochondria, and ending with protection of both healthy and unhealthy hearts.

The team focused on a protein called p27, which is known among other things to influence the cell cycle. The team found that caffeine triggered the movement of p27 into the mitochondria of heart cells in mice, and in particular, the migration of the heart’s endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels. How well the endothelial cells were able to migrate, they found, relied strongly on the presence of p27, which again is bolstered by caffeine. The protein also protected heart muscle cells from dying after heart attack was induced in some of the mice. And it triggered one type of cells, fibroblasts, to differentiate into cells containing contractile fiber, essential for good heart function.

“Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine,” said study author Judith Haendeler, “one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial p27.”

Researchers said the optimum dose for caffeine was the equivalent of about four cups of coffee per day, which other studies have suggested as well. When this amount was given to elderly mice, their cardiovascular system functioned more like younger mice. Caffeine administration also improved the heart health of pre-diabetic and obese mice.

Related

scaleSquare

THE WEIGHT IS OVER

New products can help you lose weight, improve metabolism, and even boost mood. Below are five formulas that caught our attention for their promising weight-loss ingredients.

A recent Harvard University report noted these coffee benefits: lower blood pressure, a slower rate of weight gain with age, and reduced risks for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Coffee Talk

You can barely turn around these days without running into a coffee shop. But did you know that America's obsession with this potent brew is actually good for us? Following are some of coffee's health benefits.

Oatmeal for Heart HEalth

Heal Your Heart with Food

A diet low in salt and saturated fat is important if you've had a heart attack. And it's easier than you think — you just need to know what foods to buy to make healthier meals. Here's a list of 8 foods that help prevent a second heart attack.