Research : Coffee and the heart: I’m a member... - AF Association

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Research : Coffee and the heart

Loafinabout profile image
53 Replies

I’m a member of the UK Biobank and was interested to read the following research results (having always avoided coffee as the ‘healthy’ choice

medscape.com/viewarticle/98...

53 Replies
sassy59 profile image
sassy59

Very interesting. I always drink decaffeinated coffee and tea because of AF and palpitations. I think I’ll stick with that for now. Xxx

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to sassy59

Yes me too! Hence my surprise at the findings. I’m sure in heavy coffee drinkers there must be a link but a coffee now and again would be nice 🙂

Desanthony profile image
Desanthony in reply to Loafinabout

When out I have caffeinated coffee as generally don't like some of the decaff coffees as they are too weak for me. I was on decaff coffee and tea for years and years before getting AF so don't think it was a trigger. I drink decaff because of bladder and prostate issues and to be quite honest with just drinking the odd caffeinated coffee when out don't notice much difference but my wife does and goes to the lavatory a lot after drinking caffeinated drinks :)

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Desanthony

interesting! I have overactive bladder and might see if a coffee or two may help.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer

Yes, I read that a week or so ago and thought about posting but then forgot.. I resumed drinking coffee some years ago without ill affects. I avoid any ultraprocessed coffee and stick to freshly made. The only thing is I have low BP so vaso dilation is NOT always a good idea for me!

The coffee debate will go on and on and on after this statement -

Ground and instant coffee, but interestingly, not decaffeinated coffee intake was also associated with reduced risk of new-onset arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to CDreamer

All I know is that more than one coffee a week whilst out shopping raises my HR considerably hence I avoid.

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to BobD

Very individual

GrannyE profile image
GrannyE in reply to CDreamer

probably is very individual.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to BobD

good to know - as always, each individual reports different experiences so a matter of self-management

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to BobD

I struggle with a low heart rate and often in bradycardia - day or night - which is why the finding interests me

Ronnieboy profile image
Ronnieboy in reply to BobD

Its the other way round for me .haha

Luludean profile image
Luludean in reply to CDreamer

I drink 2 cups of ground filter coffee a day . I never drink any instant coffe . I think it had artificial caffeine in it , plunges me into AF. As do paracetemol « extra » , mistakenly bought as packet looks the same as regular.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to CDreamer

go figure!🤣

john6 profile image
john6

I love my coffee and like to drink it on the strong side. In fact we were out for a family celebration only last night and my first coffee was rather weak, my next two were double shots and I suffered no ill effects whatsoever and I'm one who suffers Vagal Afib.

The other thing imo to take in is that, [there is coffee and there is coffee]!

The stuff from supermarkets like [say] Kenko can set me off and also land me with the mother and father of headaches as do most powdery or granular types of coffee, whereas ground coffee from Costa Starbucks Wetherspoons and even Macdonalds (I know how to live lol) and generally good restaurants seem to have little or no effect.

If you like your coffee then a little bit of experimentation might help.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to john6

Additives in certain (maybe cheaper) brands possibly the culprit. I would assume they used a pure ground coffee in the study.

saulger profile image
saulger

From the article:

"Drinking 2 to 3 daily cups of coffee, including ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee, is associated with significant reductions in new cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality, compared with avoiding coffee, a new analysis of the prospective UK Biobank suggests.

Ground and instant coffee, but interestingly, not decaffeinated coffee intake was also associated with reduced risk of new-onset arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation."

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman

tI saw that in the newspapers the other day, too, but thanks for posting the link. I drink coffee as I always have as the cardiologist I saw told me back in 2019 that there was no link except in a very few people who have a sensitivity to caffeine. At that time, I found this study:

ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161...

and this link from no less than the BHF:

bhf.org.uk/informationsuppo....

Steve

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Ppiman

cheers for the links Steve

Sim22 profile image
Sim22

Interestingly, i have not changed my lifestyle with AF or HF, i drink coffee (tea 2 cups) every day one maybe two cups dally which has no impact on my heart function. My diet is generally good, as my partner is vegetarian so i cook from fresh every day.

I have an ICD so my heart functioning is monitored, my pacing team says it pacing well .

oscarfox49 profile image
oscarfox49

The article is pay walled but I would want to analyse the actual statistical base on which the conclusions are drawn. If it indeed 'reduces' the incidence of heart disease and liability to AF then exactly how much, and with what population? I don't recall seeing these conclusions anywhere else but I will search the Scientific American archive.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to oscarfox49

I’m sure the AF community would be really interested in the results of your research. After a brush with Bisopropol which added more symptoms I’ve now been on Nebivolol for the last year with no issues.

oscarfox49 profile image
oscarfox49 in reply to Loafinabout

Similarly if you have time to give me more information about how you have reacted it to Nebivolol and how it affected you, I would be very grateful. I have been told to take it instead of Sotalol (which I have taken very long term) by a cardiologist but so far have not dared do so when Sotalol has kept my AF very much in check for some time now, though I have great fatigue and breathlessness during the day. Thanks.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to oscarfox49

I have absolutely no adverse reaction to Nebivolol but my dose is only 5mg per day. I get pills which have a groove in middle giving the option to split and I take 2.5 am and pm. Bisopropol made me feel bad - terrible fatigue, bradycardia regularly (I was on minimum dose) short of breath. It is curious that your cardiologist is trying to fix something that isn’t broke? I do get cynical in these cases and wonder if there’s a market lead reason for switching rather a health based one. Drug reps can be pretty persuasive!

oscarfox49 profile image
oscarfox49 in reply to Loafinabout

My cardiologist really wanted me to opt for an ablation but didn't tell me that it only works 50% of the time if you have permanent AF. His only reason for prescribing Nebivolol (in the French brand name) was given as 'we don't use Sotalol any more here', which was not particularly persuasive even when he wouldn't tell me anything at all about 'Temerit'. It took some nagging before he would even admit it was a beta blocker. I am just wondering to what extent my problems of fatigue and breathlessness are due to Sotalol as I get older, and it is interesting you don't get breathlessness as with Bisopropol (which tends to be the drug of choice here). Thanks for taking the time to let me know that Nebivolol sounds like it might be an option worth trying if I don't get any improvements.

Jans5 profile image
Jans5

I agree with the findings. When I was diagnosed with afib I cut out coffee including decaffeinated as per advice for 4 years along with taking on board all the other advise from various sources nothing seemed to make any difference to my afib although I felt healthier. Ive maintained my weight loss and exercise but 4 years ago on my 60th birthday began drinking coffee again and have found to my amazement that it reduced my af burden. Afib seems to be different for everyone and what helps for some doesn't for others its trial and error but I'll be keeping up my 2 to 3 cups a day for the foreseeable 😄

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Jans5

I’m really pleased for you. And I can really understand you ‘going for it’ on your sixtieth !

Thomas45 profile image
Thomas45

Very interesting. I have not drank coffee since 2007 because some ingredient of coffee made my AF worse. Although I've been in permanent AF for 6 years I still won't drink it. I don't consider that caffeine was the culprit as decaf coffee had the same effect on my AF.

I drink tea regularly. In the morning it's a strong breakfast blend, in the afternoon I like chai or Darjeeling or a fruit tea. I drink decaff tea after 5pm to help my prostate reduce overnight toilet visits.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Thomas45

it seems from comments to my post that ground coffee doesn’t give the same adverse reaction as instant - could be additives?

Thomas45 profile image
Thomas45 in reply to Loafinabout

Probably you're right. Years ago I did drink ground, that was before I had paroxysmal AF. Instant decaff was no better than instant normal. That, plus drinking caffeinated cola and tea without a problem indicated it was something else in coffee, not the caffeine.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Thomas45

interesting tip re reducing toilet visits in the night as I do have that problem.

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire

I love good coffee ( available here in nearly all bars - often the more down at heel the better!) and my morning cup was a daily treat but after developing afib it started giving me palps so I stopped. The smell of my husband's brewing in the morning is a bit of a torment but I have got used to going without. Now if we stop at a bar when out biking I have tea even though French tea bags are crap and you have to bash at them for ages to get them to actually put out any tea. Luckily I like my tea weak.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Auriculaire

best to stick with what keeps you well 🙂

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum

never ends eh? 1 day something is a wonder food/beverage, next is will kill you/cause polyps/oral cancer/weeping sores. Wait a week and the studies reverse.

I was told caffeine may be a trigger my my doc, and it always has raised my hr/bp…so, I gave up caffeinated for decaf. I’m happy with my decaf…my brand tastes..to me just like caffeinated, so no loss.

My biggest struggle was giving up cream and sugar…I was drinking 4 mugs a day, with double cream and 2 heaping teaspoons each. Tried reducing…no joy..just tasted awful. So, I tried black with a sprinkle of cinnamon and liquid vanilla *boom* hello my new friend! ….aaaand it’s autumn, so of course I also sprinkle a dash of pumpkin spice 🥰

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to beach_bum

agree with all you say - never know which way is up! Good coffee fix too🤙

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum

…and I’m pretty picky about my coffee, so that’s saying something 😋

RoyMacDonald profile image
RoyMacDonald

Livestrong.com had an article about a study of various teas and coffees some time ago. I posted a link at the time. I was interested because it was quite a big study. It did reach the same conclusions about benefits for teas and coffees. Matcha tea was the favourite as it had more of everything.

All the best.

Roy

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to RoyMacDonald

That’s interesting - will have to look up Matcha

RoyMacDonald profile image
RoyMacDonald in reply to Loafinabout

Livestrong also had an article about a study on cacao and dark chocolate that said they were shown to lower blood pressure.

All the best.

Roy

irene75359 profile image
irene75359

Really interesting, particularly in view of the fact that I gave up drinking coffee for quite a number of years (I think it was the 80s or 90s) as research then said coffee was very bad for the heart!

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to irene75359

There’s comments for and against here so it’s very much up to the individual. Safer if you have a Kardia or Apple Watch that can give real time info when drinking coffee

Sacstate profile image
Sacstate

Whenever I run into somebody who suggests that my drinking coffee might be unhealthy, I always say with humor intended, “in my life I have had to give up drinking, gambling, smoking, salt, sugar, meat, cheese, milk, and wild women, but I’ll never give up coffee.” So I am glad to see the results of this study. Seriously, I have never experienced negative heart or health results from drinking a couple of cups of caffeinated coffee per day, and it really is one of the remaining pleasures I truly enjoy at the age of 76.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Sacstate

you are not alone judging from the comments I’m getting🙂

minidoxie profile image
minidoxie

i live over the pond and as soon as I saw that study I changed my morning coffee from decaf (which I hate) to a mix of half decaf half regular . So far it has had no effect on me. I also have a few pieces of dark chocolate each evening . I take my heart rate before bed with Kardia and dont see any changes from the caffein. Fingers crossed.......

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to minidoxie

I monitor what I eat and drink with a Kardia too - I like dark chocolate too! 😂

RoyMacDonald profile image
RoyMacDonald in reply to minidoxie

Livestrong also had an article about a study on cacao and dark chocolate that said they were shown to lower blood pressure.👍

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to RoyMacDonald

I have to exercise / lot of dog walking to get my blood pressure up as it can go down to the 40s/50’s. Sad for a dark chocolate lover😢

Kingst profile image
Kingst

I switched to decaf upon diagnosis of AFIB several years ago, and recently switched back to full caffeine, without any ill effects or increased arrythmias. I have found that coffee is a potent positive influence on my mood and enjoy the little "lift" it gives me. As it turns out research shows that coffee impacts certain neurological receptors far more effectively than prescription antidepressants!

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout in reply to Kingst

That’s great news - I guess doctors have to err on the safe side when they ‘caution’ against coffee - every metabolism is different.

silviageci profile image
silviageci

Very interesting, I drink decaffeinated coffee usually, if there is not in the place I go I drink regular coffee, to be honest, none of them ever cause me an Afib episode

minidoxie profile image
minidoxie

now if only they would publish a study about wine being ok, i'd be in 7th heaven!! The things they say about Afib & alcohol are scary. I only allow my self a half-glass of wine when we go out and stopped drinking it at home.......

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to minidoxie

we live in hope………..

Peacefulneedshelp profile image
Peacefulneedshelp

I drink 2 cups a day and actually a cup of coffee has taken me out of Afib so go figure.

Loafinabout profile image
Loafinabout

Wish I could be so lucky! 👍

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