How many cups of coffee do you find yourself drinking a day? One? Two? Maybe more? Well, a recent meta-analysis of cohort studies published in Nutrition, Metabolism, & Cardiovascular Diseases found that there’s a specific number of cups that might have some favorable impacts on risk of death and cardiovascular disease—especially in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
How many cups of coffee does it seem to take?
According to the analysis, which included data from ten prospective cohort studies, with a total of 82,270 cases, found that (compared with those who drank no coffee) drinking four cups of coffee per day was associated with a lower risk of death in patients with type 2 diabetes, with the most significant difference seen in the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.
Previously, studies have found an inverse relationship between drinking coffee and risk of death for the general population, but this study specifically considered the way it may impact patients with type 2 diabetes. Some of the bioactive components of coffee have been linked with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which may be a contributing factor in this research.
Does that mean you should drink that many cups of coffee a day?
If you’re thinking that four cups of coffee sounds like an awful lot of caffeine, you’re not wrong. Though it’s not going to necessarily hurt you, given how differently people process caffeine it might be too much. The researchers also point out that there’s a need for more detailed research into factors like what exactly a cup of coffee is—does it have cream and sugar? Is it a cold brew ? Espresso or drip? There’s a lot of variation that may be at play and could really matter.
When it comes to the caffeine concern, strategies like microdosing can help make sure you don’t end up too jittery if you are someone who’s drinking that much, but it’s certainly not the only way to manage risk of cardiovascular disease.
Diet, beyond just preferred caffeinated beverages, plays a huge role in heart health. Studies have linked a more Mediterranean-style diet with better heart health (especially when legumes are a primary protein source) as well as diets that are rich in vitamin K (which comes in two varieties, found in green leafy vegetables and egg yolk or dairy product, respectively).
Even our emotions might impact our heart health, according to integrative cardiologist Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D. “In Ayurvedic teachings, the physical heart lies in the vicinity of the heart chakra,” she writes on mindbodygreen, “The accumulation of guilt, shame, resentment, hatred, anger, hostility, anxiety and similar qualities results in “closing off” of the anahata, a constriction of energy flow and resulting in heartache—both emotionally as well as in the form of heart disease.”
So is chugging coffee the solution to preventing heart disease? Probably not alone, but you can feel comforted knowing that if you do have a few a day it might play a small role in keep your heart healthy.