Caffeine Blood Pressure: Drinking 4 Cups of Coffee May Be Beneficial [STUDY]

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 2, 2013 11:47 AM EDT

black tea
Four cups of coffee or tea a day may help lower blood pressure, says a new study from the Preventive and Clinical Investigations Centre in Paris. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The caffeine from four cups of coffee or tea a day leads to lower blood pressure, says a new study from the Preventive and Clinical Investigations Centre in Paris.

The 10-year caffeine study found that those who consume caffeine have lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate than those who don't drink coffee or tea. Heavy coffee drinkers had slightly higher blood pressure levels, but abstainers from caffeine had the highest blood pressure.

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In the study, researchers monitored the coffee and tea intake of 180,000 people between the ages of 16-95 years. The group was divided into those who drank no coffee or tea, those who drank between one and four daily cups, and those who drank more than four cups a day.

Tea drinkers, more than coffee drinkers, benefited the most from multiple cups per day. Bruno Pannier, the study's author, said this might be because of tea's flavonoids, compounds of pigments found in flowers and plants.

"The vasorelaxing compounds included in these beverages might be involved in these results, something that has been suggested by the experimental data," Pannier said.

This study goes against conventional thinking about caffeine, which has generally been thought to raise blood pressure at least in the short term.

"Caffeine can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don't have high blood pressure," says Sheldon Sheps on the Mayo Clinic's website. "It's unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. Caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened. Others think that caffeine causes your adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, which causes your blood pressure to increase.

But in the long term, this new study suggests, caffeine doesn't raise blood pressure. If that's true, doctors say, this study shouldn't be reason to go out and drink lots of coffee or tea in order to drive down blood pressure.

"This is a fairly unusual study and appears to go against conventional understanding of the effects of too much caffeine," Ian Campbell, a British doctor, told Express. "Nobody should be encouraged to drink more tea and coffee as a result of this. Current guidance that two or three cups a day is sufficient is worth sticking to."

RELATED:

Caffeine Withdrawal: DSM Now Recognizes Coffee Drinking Can Cause Mental Disorder

5-Hour Energy Study: Is The Energy Drink Any More Effective Than Coffee?

'Friends' Deadly Coffee Intake: How Much Caffeine Is Enough To Kill You?

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