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Drinking coffee, tea may cut risk of heart flutter, stroke
May 13, 2018, 4:46 pm
Good news for coffee or tea lovers; drinking up to three cups of coffee or tea a day is safe and it helps reduce irregular heartbeat and stroke risk, says a new study at Melbourne University in Australia.

A single cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine. It acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and works to block the effects of adenosine — a chemical that causes atrial fibrillation (Afib).

AFib, the most common heart rhythm disorder, causes the heart to beat rapidly and also at times, skip beats. If left untreated, it can cause strokes. The results suggest that caffeine intake of up to 300 mg perday may be safe for arrhythmic patients.

There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems. But caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have long-term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine, the researchers reported.

A meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showed that AFib frequency decreasing by 6 percent in regular coffee drinkers, and an analysis of 115,993 patients showed a 13 percent reduced risk.

Another study of 103 post-heart attack patients who received an average of 353 mg of caffeine a day showed improvement in heart rate and no significant arrhythmias — or abnormal heart rhythms, that cause the heart to beat too fast, slow or unevenly.

However, in two studies, where patients drank at least 10 cups of coffee per day, results showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) — a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly.

On the other hand, patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks — that contains concentrated caffeine — per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.

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