Coffee Consumption Is Associated with Less Coronary Artery Calcification in Women: A Study

"Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, including polyphenols, and may exert a beneficial effect in the cardiovascular system," The author, Dr. Geleijnse, said in an interview with Reuters Health. "Historically, coffee was considered to have adverse effects on health," she said. "However, evidence is now accumulating that regular coffee consumption does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and may prevent diabetes."

"Exceptions are boiled coffee, Turkish coffee, French coffee, and other types of coffee that are prepared without a paper filter," the author noted. "These types of coffee contain diterpenes (kahweol and cafestol) that have an adverse effect on blood cholesterol," she explained. "At present, it can be concluded that regular intake of filtered coffee has no adverse effect on health."

The authors' next step is to identify compounds in coffee that could be responsible for the protective effect against atherosclerosis and diabetes. "Coffee is a main source of phytoestrogens, especially the isoflavones daidzein, genistein, and formononetin," Dr. Geleijnse explained.

"Furthermore, it contains fair amounts of the minerals potassium and magnesium and polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants," she said. "These healthy substances may offset the potential harmful effects of caffeine."

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