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The Cardiovascular Benefits of Caffeinated Beverages: Real or Surreal? “Metron Ariston - All in Moderation”

Author(s):

Antonis A. Manolis*, Theodora A. Manolis , Evdoxia J. Apostolopoulos , Helen Melita and Antonis S. Manolis*   Pages 1 - 26 ( 26 )

Abstract:


Caffeinated beverages are the most widely consumed beverages globally with coffee and tea as the two most prominent sources of caffeine. Caffeine content varies across different types of beverages. In addition to caffeine, coffee and tea have other biologically active compounds, and all may affect general and cardiovascular (CV) health. Moderate caffeine consumption (<300-400 mg/day), regardless of the source, is considered safe by both European and US Health Authorities, as it is not associated with adverse health and CV effects, while it may confer certain health benefits. There is a nonlinear association between coffee ingestion and CV risk; moderate coffee drinking is inversely significantly associated with CV risk, with the highest benefit at 2-4 cups per day, while heavy coffee drinking might confer increased risk. With regards to tea, due to a lower caffeine content per serving, its consumption is only limited by the total caffeine daily intake. Both these caffeinated beverages, coffee and tea, have additional phenolic compounds, with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which confer cardioprotective benefits. Of the several coffee compounds, chloroacetic acids and melanoidins offer such beneficial effects, while diterpenes may have unfavorable effects on lipids. Most of the tea ingredients (polyphenols) are cardioprotective. A major concern relates to energy drinks with their much higher caffeine content which puts individuals, especially adolescents and young adults, at high health and CV risk. All these issues are herein discussed, including pertinent studies and meta-analyses, pathogenetic mechanisms involved and relevant recommendations from health authorities.

Keywords:

Coffee, caffeine, caffeinated beverages, cardiovascular disease, cardiac arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, hypertension.

Affiliation:

Patras University School of Medicine, Patras, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, First Department of Cardiology, Athens University School of Medicine, Athens



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