For our coffee lovers wondering if coffee can help maintain low blood pressure, the answer is YES. A new study from Italy finds that those who averaged two to three cups of coffee per day had lower blood pressure than those who drank less or didn’t drink at all.
Their findings, which were published in the journal Nutrients, showed that those who regularly drink coffee have significantly lower peripheral and aortic blood pressure than those who are not habitual coffee drinkers.
Data from this study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that drinking coffee can potentially lower cardiovascular risk.
Importantly, only a few studies have examined the impact of consuming coffee regularly, especially in the Italian population.
Coffee is a popular beverage consumed globally and in Italy. Records from 2020 and 2021 show that roughly 10 million tons of coffee were consumed worldwide. And before now, coffee has been established to accompany major health benefits, particularly concerning cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and several neurodegenerative and liver diseases. However, it is unclear what causes this benefit of drinking coffee.
The study authors explain that positive impacts have been associated with taking caffeinated coffee, yet results stayed similar for decaffeinated coffee. This suggests that caffeine alone is not the major determinant of the effect of coffee on human health. Essentially, caffeine is just one of the many bioactive compounds present in coffee.
“We know that caffeine can increase blood pressure, but other bioactive components in coffee seem to counterbalance this effect with a positive end result on blood pressure levels,” says study lead author Arrigo Cicero, professor at the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences at the University of Bologna.
For the study, Cicero and his colleagues looked at data from the Brisighella Heart Study involving 720 men and 783 women who were of similar age. The team measured all participants’ blood pressure along with their weight and height to calculate their body mass index (BMI).
Participants were then made to undergo an overnight fast. After this, their blood samples were collected and assessed for cholesterol levels. With the aid of questionnaires, participants were asked questions concerning their coffee consumption habits, including the number of cups of coffee they consumed each day.
The team found peripheral blood pressure was significantly lower in those who drank up to one to three cups of coffee a day than in those who were non-coffee drinkers.
“And for the first time, we were also able to confirm these effects with regard to the central aortic pressure, the one close to the heart, where we observe an almost identical phenomenon with entirely similar values for habitual coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers,” the study authors write.
Aortic pulse pressure (PP), aortic blood pressure (BP), and peripheral pulse pressure are strong predictors of cardiovascular disease risk. Interestingly, this study shows that the more cups of coffee a person drinks, the lower these parameters are for the coffee drinker.
In conclusion, the study authors offer valuable insight into the importance of drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day. By including coffee in your dietary habits, you can help control your blood pressure as well as prevent cardiovascular diseases.