Coffee good for you heart? Austin doctor weighs in on new research

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you are among the 90 percent of Americans who drink coffee, there’s some good news. Research found drinking one or more cups of coffee was associated with a decreased risk of heart failure.

“The latest study suggests there is a lot more to know about caffeine and it’s really good news,” said Dr. Stanley Wang, the medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Heart Hospital of Austin.

A cup or more of coffee may not only make you feel less sleepy, Dr. Wang says it could be good for you.

“The latest study shows it improves attention span, brain processing and function. It even improves driving safety although we don’t recommend driving if you’re sleepy — even with caffeine.”

How much is too much coffee? Dr. Wang says up to four cups of coffee a day may not be bad for your heart health.

“In terms of dangerous heart arrhythmia, the impact of caffeine has been overstated,” Wang said. “The studies are more assuring about using reasonable doses of caffeine.”

Dr. Wang says the effects of coffee may linger longer depending on several factors.

“For example if you are a smoker, your metabolism of caffeine can double which means it breaks down faster and the effects break down faster. On the flip side of things, certain hormones and medications like standard birth control pills slow down the metabolism of caffeine and make it linger in the blood longer which can make it last for a long time and lead to sleepless nights.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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