Thursday, June 19, 2008

Coffee Protects Women Against Heart Disease - But Not Men

About a month ago, I was telling you about a study that concluded that tea consumption is very good news for women – but not for men. Now comes the shocking part: coffee, it has just been revealed, has an equally surprising taste for gender disparity. A recent study published a few days ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine explains that while coffee has been proved to protect women against heart disease, men cannot rely on a similar effect.

For the research, American scientists kept records on coffee habits and the general state of health for 84,000 women (over an interval of 24 years) and 42,000 men (for an interval of 18 years). The extensive time span and scale of the study allowed researchers to come up with a series of interesting and valid conclusions, the most important ones being that drinking as much as six cups of coffee a day does not raise the risk of premature death (this is valid for both genders) and that women who drink between two and three cups of coffee a day are 25 % less likely to die from heart disease than men and other women who do not drink any coffee at all.

The researchers have no idea why coffee protects women from heart disease but doesn't have a similar effect on men. In addition to being protected against heart conditions, women who consume two or three cups of full-strength coffee every day are 18% less likely to die from something other than cancer or heart disease. Coffee is extremely rich in antioxidants and tannins which protect the heart and arteries and also have a beneficial effect on the liver.

"Coffee consumption was not associated with a higher risk of mortality in middle-aged men and women", explains Dr Esther Lopez-Garcia, who led the research. No word yet on why women's hearts are more susceptible to the beneficial effects of coffee – but researchers are investigating this particular matter, so stay tuned for more news.

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