Moderate coffee consumption linked to lower coronary artery calcium

Moderate coffee consumption linked to lower coronary artery calcium

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, May 5, 2015. The May 1, 2015 issue of the journal Heart published a study finding reduced coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores in men and women (mean age of 41.3 years) with a moderate daily intake of coffee in comparison with those who abstained from the beverage. Coronary artery calcium is a subclinical marker of coronary atherosclerosis and is predictive of future heart disease.

The current investigation included 25,138 participants in the Kangbuk Samsung Health Study, which involved individuals who received comprehensive examinations yearly or every other year at one of two Korean healthcare centers. Subjects in the current study were limited to those without a history or clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. Dietary questionnaire responses provided data on coffee intake. Participants underwent cardiac computed tomography scans for coronary artery calcium scoring between 2011 and 2013.

Coronary artery calcium was detectable in 13.4% of the subjects, including 2.1% whose CAC scores were greater than 100. Consuming one to less than three cups coffee per day was associated with an adjusted 14% lower risk of detectable coronary artery calcium in comparison with those who drank no coffee, and the intake of three to less than five cups was associated with a 19% lower risk.

As possible mechanisms explaining the finding, authors Yuni Choi and colleagues remark that coffee drinking has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes—a disease that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. They note that coffee contains phenolic compounds whose antioxidant activity could help prevent the oxidation of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Additionally, the beverage has been associated with a reduction in endothelial dysfunction and markers of inflammation.

"Our study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that coffee consumption might be inversely associated with cardiovascular disease risk," the authors conclude. "Further research is warranted to confirm our findings and establish the biological basis of coffee's potential preventive effects on coronary artery disease."

What's Hot
Coffee drinkers have lower melanoma risk
What's Hot  

An article published on January 20, 2015 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveals the finding of Erikka Loftfield, MPH, and her colleagues of an association between increased coffee consumption and a reduced risk of malignant melanoma.

The analysis included 447,357 participants in the National Institutes of Health-AARP prospective study initiated in 1995-1996. Dietary questionnaires completed upon enrollment were evaluated for the intake of regular and decaffeinated coffee. The subjects were followed for a median of 10.5 years, during which 2,904 cases of malignant melanoma were diagnosed.

A trend was observed between increasing coffee intake and a decreasing risk of malignant melanoma over follow-up. Among men and women who consumed four or more cups of coffee per day, there was an adjusted 20% lower risk of developing malignant melanoma in comparison with the risk experienced by those who were non-coffee drinkers. The protective effect of coffee drinking was observed only in association with coffee that was not decaffeinated and was restricted to those with malignant melanoma as opposed to melanoma in situ.

In their discussion of the findings, the authors suggest several mechanisms to explain the protective effect of coffee against malignant melanoma. "Coffee contains numerous bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, diterpenes, trigonelline, and caffeine," they write. "The predominant chlorogenic acid in coffee, 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid, and to a greater extent its metabolite caffeic acid, have been shown to suppress UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis in mouse epidermal cells by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX-2) expression. COX-2, which is overexpressed in response to UVB exposure and in human melanoma cells compared with normal melanocytes, is thought to play a functional role in the development and progression of malignant melanoma."

"Because of its high disease burden, lifestyle modifications with even modest protective effects may have a meaningful impact on melanoma morbidity," they conclude.

Life Extension Clinical Research Update

Coffee in cognitive, metabolic and immune health
South Florida location

Subjective memory complaints are common and may be an indicator of early cognitive decline. Research indicates coffee may support specific immune factors associated with cognitive health. Life Extension is proud to sponsor this study which examines the effect of coffee ingestion on cognition, metabolic parameters and specific immune markers. Register now if you would like to take part in this research study.

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Life Extension Magazine® May 2015 Issue Now Online

Life Extension Magazine® May 2015 Issue Now Online

On the cover

As we see it: Newly identified risks of excess homocysteine, by William Faloon


DHEA, by Andrew Levine

Natural methods to control cholesterol, by Susan Wiggins

Why so many people require the metabolically active form of folic acid, by Arthur Strand

A pioneering program funded by Life Extension® to protect against cancers and slow aging, by Ben Best

New studies reveal importance of zinc in maintaining prostate health, by Stephen Ramirez


In the News

Wellness profile: Stefanie Powers, by Donna Caruso

Ask the doctor: New study finds Pycnogenol® effectively treats psoriasis . . . and more, by Michael Downey

Superfoods: Buckwheat, by Michael Downey

Journal abstracts: Zinc, DHEA, cholesterol and folate


Health Concern

Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease

The cause and progression of vascular disease is intimately related to the health of the inner arterial wall. Blood vessels are composed of three layers. The outer layer is mostly connective tissue and provides structure to the layers beneath. The middle layer is smooth muscle; it contracts and dilates to control blood flow and maintain blood pressure. The inner lining consists of a thin layer of endothelial cells (the endothelium), which provides a smooth, protective surface. Endothelial cells prevent toxic, blood-borne substances from penetrating the smooth muscle of the blood vessel.

However, as we age, a barrage of atherogenic factors, if left unchecked, damages the delicate endothelial cells. This damage leads to endothelial dysfunction and ultimately allows lipids and toxins to penetrate the endothelial layer and enter the smooth muscle cells. This results in the initiation of an oxidative and inflammatory cascade that culminates in the development of plaque deposits. Subsequently, these plaques begin to calcify and, over time, become prone to rupture. If a plaque deposit ruptures, the result is oftentimes a deadly blood clot.

If people do not take steps to correct the endothelial dysfunction occurring in their aging bodies, the consequence will be a worsening of the epidemic of arterial disease that currently kills 35% of Americans and 30% of all people worldwide (American Heart Association: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2010). Sadly, mainstream medicine continuously fails patients by prescribing drugs that address only a very small number of risk factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of vascular disease.

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