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    Natracure Blog — heart

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    Coffee, Coffee, It's Good For Your Heart

    Drinking coffee, tea or chocolate does not appear to cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns, researchers reported Tuesday. The report challenges a widely held belief that caffeinated drinks cause irregular heart rhythms that can lead to heart failure or dangerous heart rhythm disorders and is another vindication for coffee as a safe drink. It might be time for doctors to lighten up on coffee, says Dr. Gregory Marcus, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco, who led the study. "Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart's cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits," Marcus said in a statement. "WE MAY UNNECESSARILY BE DISCOURAGING CONSUMPTION OF ITEMS LIKE CHOCOLATE, COFFEE AND TEA THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS." "Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant." It used to be believed that premature cardiac contractions, which usually cause no symptoms or mild symptoms such as heart palpitations, 'skipped' beats or fluttering, were harmless. But studies now show they're associated with heart failure, atrial fibrillation and other dangerous conditions. And doctors are widely taught that caffeine can cause these heart disturbances. To check, Marcus and colleagues examined 1,388 people, with an average age of 72, taking part in a larger heart study. About 60 percent said they drank some sort of caffeinated product every day. The team looked specifically at coffee, tea and chocolate and did not ask about super-caffeinated energy drinks. They measured instances of premature ventricular contractions and premature atrial contractions. They could not find any differences in instances of these heart disturbances, no matter how much coffee or tea or chocolate people had. "Therefore, we are only able to conclude that in general, consuming caffeinated products every day is not associated with having increased ectopy or arrhythmia but cannot specify a particular amount per day," Marcus and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association. "HABITUAL COFFEE DRINKERS HAVE LOWER RATES OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE." They said it is possible that people who noticed heart flutters or other symptoms from coffee or tea may have cut back - they did not ask them. But they also noted that it's yet another finding in favor of moderate coffee drinking. "Coffee is among the most commonly consumed beverages in the United States and is the main source of caffeine intake among adults," they wrote. "Regular coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and depression," they added. "Furthermore, large observational studies have found that habitual coffee drinkers have lower rates of coronary artery disease and of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality." The cutoff seems to be around five cups a day, and kids shouldn't be drinking too much caffeine. Higher doses of caffeine can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has warned about sales of powdered caffeine, One teaspoon delivers as much caffeine as 28 cups of regular coffee. By Maggie Fox via NBC News

    Concerned about your Heart? Maybe Grab a Beer

    “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
     - Abraham Lincoln
    Beer, Beer, It’s Good For Your Heart! No, really. Tell your friends! For years we’ve heard that wine has been the go-to alcoholic drink for heart-health conscious drinkers. But in what may be the best news of your day, new studies have shown a correlation between moderate beer drinking and heart health. So grab a pint and read on to learn more! The Scandinavian Journal of Public Health Care conducted a study on the effects of alcohol consumption on women across a 32-year time period. The study included nearly 1500 women ranging from 30 to 62 years of age. At the start, researchers asked the participants a variety of questions about their alcohol consumption, namely their beverages of choice, overall physical health and lifestyle habits. At the end of the study they followed up with the women and tracked their health and for some, cause of death. Researchers were able to find a clear link between the moderate beer consumers and a lowered heart attack risk. Interestingly enough, they did not find the same correlation with the wine advocates. Now, don’t you wine-lovers throw away your wine glasses just yet! Kenneth J. Mukamal, MD, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard, is an expert in the area of the effects of alcoholic beverages on health. He’s conducted quite a few studies over the course of his career and he offers a great perspective. He stated, “In most cases, overall alcohol intake is associated with lower risk of heart attack.” In other words, moderate consumption of any alcoholic drink can be beneficial to your heart. He continues, “We know that moderate drinking influences a number of factors that could lower risk of heart attack. It increases HDL, the good cholesterol, and lowers the stickiness of blood cells.” Even those who aren’t ready to declare beer the “be-all end-all” of heart-healthy alcoholic beverages do have positive views. Nicole Weinberg, MD is a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California and she says she typically sees contrary results in her practice. She states that her patients that are beer drinkers typically have higher weight, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. However, she believes this to be from what they eat as opposed to what they drink. She sees substantial heart benefits in the de-stressing aspect of drinking beer, as in drinking casually with friends or family.
    If that weren’t enough, further studies have shown a link between moderate beer-drinking and lowered risk of hypertension and increased mineral bone density. This is due to the high level of silicon found in beer helping the body absorb more calcium and minerals for increased bone strength. So you can drink responsibly with your head held-high. Studies indicate that your heart can go ahead and confidently raise your glasses to a longer and tastier life!
      Sources: dailymail.co.uk, yahoo.com, cdc.gov, dailynews.com By Pat DeRiso