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Coffee keeps us company throughout the day: breakfast, after lunch, end of dinner… We drink so much coffee that we often lose count of how many cups we have been drinking. A study sponsored by the University of South Australia and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined how many coffees one can drink each day, before it harms human health (the cardiovascular system and the heart, in particular). According to the study, drinking more than six cups per day increases cardiovascular risk.

What is the appropriate level of caffeine intake?

The authors focused on caffeine, a compound abundantly present in coffee (and to a smaller extent also in tea and cocoa). According to recent studies on the subject, excess caffeine could cause an increase in blood pressure, and in turn can lead to developing heart diseases.

In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority set limits for caffeine intake: drinking between 200 mg and 400 mg (about 5 cups of espresso) does not create any health concerns. However, researchers from around the world continue to debate, trying to understand whether and to what extent this substance is harmful, with often mixed results on this subject.

Coffee yes, but in moderation

Australian scientists analysed a rich sample of 350,000 people aged 37 to 73 for their coffee consumption. Of these, more than 8,000 had recorded a severe cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke). Statistical analysis of the numbers determined that cardiovascular risk was linked to the amount of coffee taken. Drinking more than 5 coffees per day increases cardiovascular risk by 22% compared to people who drink 1 or 2 cups per day. An interesting data point reveals that cardiovascular risk tends to increase even in those who do not drink coffee at all (11%) or choose decaf (7%).

The “shield” effect of a minimum consumption of coffee lies in the presence of certain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds present in the drink. Elina Hyppon, from the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the University of South Australia, argues that, in order to keep a healthy heart and good blood pressure, people need to limit the number of cups per day and drink less than 6. In summary, as is often the case when talking about food and drink, intake is allowed if in moderation.

The intellectual property of the above article belongs to http://www.ristorazioneitalianamagazine.it


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