July 29, 2016
font size

Caffeine (cont.)

Medical Editor:

Does caffeine cause heart disease?

With the high prevalence of heart disease, links between lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, are undergoing extensive research. The original research into caffeine's role in this epidemic resulted in conflicting answers. Some evidence suggests an elevation in stress hormones from caffeine consumption that could pose a cardiovascular risk, but recent research has shown no relationship between caffeine ingestion and heart disease. In fact, studies have actually shown a protective effect against heart disease with habitual intake of caffeinated beverages in the elderly population. The reason for the discrepancy may be due to the kind of beverage being consumed. Studies have shown that coffee and tea were not associated with increases in blood pressure or arrhythmias, while soft drinks were. Research also showed that decaffeinated coffee and tea did not provide the same benefits as the caffeinated versions. The well-respected Framingham Heart Study examined all potential links between caffeine intake and cardiovascular disease and found no harmful effects from drinking coffee. There can, however, be exceptions to this. People react differently to caffeine, and some may experience elevations in blood pressure or arrhythmias. The blood pressure elevations are said to be short lived, lasting no more than several hours and are comparable to modest elevations experienced climbing a flight of stairs. It's always best to check with your physician if you are experiencing any side effects.

Does caffeine cause bone loss?

Too much of a good thing could be a problem for caffeine consumers. Evidence suggests that high caffeine intake may accelerate bone loss. One study found that elderly postmenopausal women who consumed more than 300 mg per day of caffeine lost more bone in the spine than women who consumed less than 300 mg per day. However, coffee and tea drinkers may be able to counteract this negative effect by adding milk to their beverage. The consumption of cola has also been shown to be associated with lower bone mineral density. While these studies were compelling, more evidence is needed to make a definitive decision about the role of caffeine and osteoporosis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations