Jul 18, 2019 | Updated: 08:11 AM EDT

How Much Coffee is Too Much?

May 12, 2019 08:16 PM EDT

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How much Coffee is too much?
(Photo : Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay)

Cappuccino, latte, or short black, morning coffee is essential for many people looking to kick start their day. Even when the humble coffee may be a critical feature of the daily grind, the question is how much is too much?

For decades, there have been several debates on the pros and cons of drinking coffee, and a recent study from the University of South Australia shows that drinking six or more coffees a day can be detrimental to your health, increasing your risk of heart disease by up to 22 percent.

The cardiovascular disease affected one in six people in Australia. It is a leading cause of death with one person dying from the disease every 12 minutes. One of the leading causes of death, yet one of the most preventable is cardiovascular disease, according to the World Health Organization.

To investigate the connection of long-term coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease, researchers at UniSA including Dr. Ang Zhou and Professor Elina Hypponen of the Australian Center for Precision Health claim that their research confirms the point at which excess caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease.

These findings will be the first time an upper limit has been placed on safe coffee consumption and cardiovascular health. Professor Hypponen said further that coffee is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the world, it wakes us up, boosts our energy and helps us to focus, but people are always asking 'how much caffeine is too much?'

The general belief is if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseous. That is because the caffeine helps your body work faster and harder, but it is also likely to suggest that you may have reached your limit for the time being.

Also, scientists know that the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with high blood pressure, a known consequence of excess caffeine consumption.

For individuals to maintain a healthy heart and healthy blood pressure, they need to limit their coffee to fewer than six cups a day. Based on the data of the study, six is the tipping point where caffeine started to affect cardiovascular risk negatively.

The research used UK Biobank data of 347,077 participants aged 37 to 73 years, and it explored the ability of the caffeine-metabolizing gene (CYP1A2) to better process caffeine, identifying increased risks of cardiovascular disease in line with coffee consumption and genetic variations.

Hypponen concluded that an estimated three million cups of coffee are enjoyed every day around the world and having knowledge of the limits of what is right for you and what's not is imperative. And as with many things, it is all about moderation.

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