Are you a hard-hitting double-shot espresso drinker, or would you rather savor a frothy decaf cappuccino? You might be surprised to learn that your choice of coffee goes beyond just taste; it may be instinctual. Your personal coffee craving could reflect your cardiovascular health — and your genetics, according to a new study by the University of South Australia.
Almost 400,000 Australians between the ages of 39 and 73 took part in the study. They were questioned about their coffee drinking habits, and their blood pressure and heart rates were measured.
People with high blood pressure, angina and arrythmia, who either drank no coffee, less coffee or decaf. were compared with participants who had no heart issues and who tended to opt for more and stronger cups of the brew. Participants with more reactive heart responses didn’t cut back on coffee because their doctors told them to lay off the “hard stuff.” They did it because too much coffee made them feel anxious and uncomfortable. It appears that the body naturally wants to protect its health and nixes high octane caffeine if there’s a cardiovascular issue.
“If your body is telling you not to drink that extra cup of coffee, there’s likely a reason why. Listen to your body. It’s more in tune with your health than you think.”
“Whether we drink a lot of coffee, a little, or avoid caffeine altogether, this study shows that genetics are guiding our decisions to protect our cardio health,” Elina Hypponen, director of the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the University of South Australia and lead author of the study, said in a statement. This may explain why people’s tolerance for coffee varies quite a bit. Instead of looking for hard and fast rules, pay attention to your body's signals. “If your body is telling you not to drink that extra cup of coffee, there’s likely a reason why. Listen to your body. It’s more in tune with your health than you think,” she added.
- Women coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart disease, diabetes, stroke and kidney illness.
- Male coffee drinkers are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
- Dark roasted coffee tends to protect DNA strands from the breakage that leads to cancer or tumors.
- Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.