Unlike [insert name of your bummer ex here], coffee won’t break your heart. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to Science, coffee, like the loving and nurturing life partner it is, has been linked to a long-term risk of reduced heart failure.
As reported by CNN, in a new meta-study the American Heart Association examined the link between individuals’ diets and heart health. Published earlier this week in the AHA’s journal Circulation: Heart Failure, reviews the findings from three previous studies—the Framington Heart Study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, and the Cardiovascular Health Study—totaling over 21,000 adult Americans over the course of up to 70+ years. The studies were examined using the AHA’s “state-of-the-art analytic tools” on their Precise Medical Platform.
The researchers found that, for participants in the Framington and Cardiovascular Health studies, the risk of heart failure decreased between 5% and 12% for each cup of coffee consumed daily versus those who drank no coffee at all. While the Atherosclerosis Risk study found no difference in risk between those drinking one cup of coffee and none at all, participants in that study who drank two or more cups daily were associated with a 30% decrease.
But for the purposes of the study, not all coffee is created equally. Researchers note that the positive effects are only associated with caffeinated, black coffee. In fact, the study found that consuming decaf coffee was linked to a higher risk of heart failure.
“While unable to prove causality, it is intriguing that these three studies suggest that drinking coffee is associated with a decreased risk of heart failure and that coffee can be part of a healthy dietary pattern if consumed plain, without added sugar and high fat dairy products such as cream,” said registered dietitian Penny Kris-Etherton, immediate past chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Council Leadership Committee, in a statement. She was not involved with the research.
So this Valentine’s Day, do something good for your whole self: ditch that zero and get with a hero. (Coffee is the hero.)