3 cups of tea or coffee per day good for heart health

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This is a "public perception", according to cardiologist Dr Peter Kistler, who led the new study and is director of the Alfred Hospital and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. In fact, greater than 80 percent of doctors in the US recommend against caffeine consumption in patients with known abnormal heart rhythms. The most common forms of caffeinated beverages include coffee, tea and energy drinks.

Still, Kistler said that people who develop heart palpitations after drinking caffeine should still avoid it. A further analysis of almost 116,000 patients found a 13 percent risk reduction. Many studies in the past yielded similar conclusions about energy drinks: they could potentially cause life-threatening heart rhythms and blood clots. In one of the scientific papers with the participation of 228,4 thousand people shows that consumption of coffee reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation.

In addition, the researchers found that caffeine had no effect on abnormal heartbeats in the lower chambers of the heart, called ventricular arrhythmias.

Regular caffeine intake of up to 300mg per day (one cup of coffee contains approximately 95mg of caffeine) appears to be well tolerated however, before getting out the coffee grinder, Prof Kistler notes there are individual cases where avoidance is sensible, and advises patients to seek medical advice before making a change to their diet.

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A new study from the American College of Cardiology found that consuming three cups a day can lower heart palpitation risks by 13pc, and therefore reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The links between caffeine and an increased risk of heart disease are not well defined, and there is a great deal of conflicting research on how exactly caffeine affects heart problems like arrhythmias. In fact, about 25 percent of patients said that coffee triggered episodes of atrial fibrillation, the researchers found.

Having said that, Lee cautioned that a lot is still not known about the effect of caffeine on the heart.

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