Stroke Risk In Coffee Drinkers

An article by Denise Mann in WebMDHealth News reported on a study in November’s Neurology that showed that stroke risk temporarily increases the first hour after drinking coffee but reverses itself within two hours. The risk also seems to apply to those who only occasionally drink coffee or drink one or less cups a day.

The discussion centered on how reliable the study was since most studies have shown the health benefits of drinking coffee and few have shown negative effects. It could be that the stroke risk was amplified in this group because by drinking coffee at such low levels, their bodies did not build up a tolerance for caffeine and it‘s a bigger shock to their systems than for those who drink two or more cups a day. Regardless, the experts agreed that there are more important factors in stroke that really need to be addressed, such as smoking and high blood pressure. They did not recommend that anyone cut out coffee in their routine based on the findings of this one study on stroke risk in coffee drinkers.

It’s been shown that moderate coffee drinking can have beneficial health results for coffee drinkers in the prevention of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, liver damage and cancer. Study after study has found that there are fewer occurrences of these diseases among moderate coffee drinkers than among those who suffer from them.

The article quotes a researcher and a National Coffee Association spokesman who state that no negative effects on cardiovascular health have been found for coffee. So far, it looks as if we can contentedly continue with our moderate coffee habits. It only stands to reason that not only may coffee possess anti-oxidants that really do work on the body’s cellular level to improve health, but the psychological effects might weigh in as well. If drinking a few cups of coffee a day aids the general feeling of well-being, it may help to mitigate the effects of daily stress.

The article did not venture into the area of the health of heavy coffee drinkers, however. As in most things, moderation is the best practice.

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