High caffeine intake can lead to arrhythmias
Coffee is routinely consumed in countries within the Mediterranean basin. Coffee, an infusion of ground, roasted coffee beans, is the most widely consumed behaviorally active substance in the world. It contains several hundred different substance...
Coffee is routinely consumed in countries within the Mediterranean basin. Coffee, an infusion of ground, roasted coffee beans, is the most widely consumed behaviorally active substance in the world. It contains several hundred different substances including, antioxidants, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, phenolic compounds and alkaloids. Nevertheless, the effects of coffee on the cardiovascular system have been mainly related to caffeine. Acute and chronic caffeine intake appears to have only minor negative consequence on health. However, high levels of caffeine intake have been related to ventricular arrhythmias.
Epidemiologic studies have already underlined the beneficial role of the Mediterranean dietary pattern on mortality, coronary artery disease, lipid metabolism and on blood pressure. The diet of people living in Mediterranean area, where olive oil is the principal source of dietary fat, encompasses all the beneficial dietary characteristics presented in previous studies. Little information is available on relationship between adherence to Mediterranean Diet and atrial fibrillation.
"We aimed to investigate the relationship between diets and atrial fibrillation, one of the most common arrhythmias, and we focused on coffee and caffeine intake" explained Professor Mattioli from the University of Modena, Italy
The adherence to Mediterranean Diet was assessed using a Mediterranean Score. The Mediterranean Diet is usually represented in the form of a pyramid, the base of which refers to foods that are suggested to be consumed most frequently (non-refined cereals and products, olive oil, vegetables and fruits) and the top of the pyramid to those foods to be consumed rarely (red meat and meat products). The score ranged from 0 to 55. Higher values of score indicate greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet.
Researchers concluded that patients with high intake of caffeine and coffee are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation.
"Our study suggests that high intake of coffee increase the risk of arrhythmias in people without known cardiac disease," concludes Mattioli.