This brew's a lifesaver: A coffee a day ‘cuts stroke risk by 25%’By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 9:30 AM on 11th March 2011
A morning caffeine fix might do more than perk you up – it could save your life.
Those with little or no coffee intake, however, are more likely to suffer from the condition.
The findings are the latest to challenge a common belief that coffee is bad for people’s health.
Researcher Dr Susanna Larsson, of the National Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said coffee was one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world.
‘Therefore, even small health effects of substances in coffee may have large public health consequences,’ she said.
Although it is too soon to recommend coffee as a health drink, the findings should ease the minds of women concerned about drinking too much, added Dr Larsson.
‘Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy,’ she said.
It showed that those who reported drinking at least one cup a day had a 22 per cent to 25 per cent lower risk of stroke than those who drank less.
This could be because coffee reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity, the team suggested.
It also contains anti-oxidants which is known to prevent disease.
Factors such as whether the volunteers smoked, how much alcohol they consumed and weight were taken into account. Although they did not specify if they drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, the latter is not common in Sweden.
A previous study showed that male smokers who drink coffee are less likely to suffer from strokes.
Other research on the links between coffee and health have produced contradictory results.
Some suggest high doses of caffeine can increase blood pressure.
However, others show that coffee reduces the risk of cancers of the pancreas, colon, brain, mouth and throat.