Another Reason for Coffee Lovers to Rejoice
If you love a good cup of coffee, but have worried that you might need to cut back on caffeine consumption, there’s good news. According to findings presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013, caffeinated coffee helps small blood vessels work better. The caffeine in just one cup of coffee, for example, was enough to increase blood flow in these tiny vessels by 30%. Improved blood flow lasted for more than an hour after drinking the popular brew.
This was the first time scientists have proven that caffeine has a positive effect on blood flow in the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients, and remove wastes, from far flung tissues, such as those found in the fingers. Only caffeinated coffee had this effect.
Cardiovascular disease starts in the linings of blood vessels. Inflammation occurs, and LDL cholesterol begins to stick, forming plaques and reducing the flow of blood through vessels. Eventually, a clot may form, then break free, traveling to an artery supplying blood to the heart or brain. If such a clot blocks blood flow it can cause the massive tissue damage associated with heart attack or stroke. Somehow caffeine helps improve the health of blood vessels linings, allowing them to expand and let blood flow freely. Scientists are still uncertain exactly how caffeine accomplishes this feat. But for those of us who enjoy a good espresso now and then, it’s more welcome news. So I say, forget the guilt. Drink up and enjoy. It’s good for you!
American Heart Association (2013, November 20). Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com//releases/2013/11/131120111950.htm