I am a huge fan of coffee.  I drink coffee twice a day, once in the morning to get the engines started, and once in the afternoon right around 2:00 or 3:00pm. If there is no coffee at work, I will eventually have a cup when I get home to help me knock out my afternoon chores.

coffee2It is well known that coffee may cause tachycardia, or a fast heartbeat, but I was particularly excited to come across the Women’s Health Study, stating that coffee does not cause atrial fibrillation, which is a form of an irregular heartbeat.  Atrial fibrillation can be concerning because it can cause chest pain or discomfort, dizziness, fainting and blood clots.  These blood clots form in the heart, and can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. All kinds of things that just are no good.

So basically this study was a 14­‑year study with more than 30,000 women. Researchers compared occurrences of atrial fibrillation between women who drank coffee and those who didn’t. They found that atrial fibrillation occurrences were no higher than those who drank coffee in comparison to those who didn’t drink coffee.

If you want to check this study out it’s in the September 2010 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

An additional point to note is that those with moderate caffeine consumption actually noticed a decrease in atrial fibrillation in comparison to those who did not drink caffeine. These researchers cannot publish this study yet, because these are secondary findings that need further confirmation before we can really get all excited about them.

While this is great news (I’m biased), researchers  give a word of caution. “You should not immediately begin drinking large amounts of coffee, because your body is not used to it.”

The short term effects of caffeine may actually cause an atrial fibrillation, but once again there is no research to support that.

Also, avoid coffee that is saturated with sugar, creams, syrups, etc.

I smell my coffee brewing now…

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