Coffee and Caffeine Effects on Hypertension
Anna Vittoria Mattioli.
In recent years, some epidemiological studies reported that coffee consumption was associated with increased in serum cholesterol and blood pressure and subsequently increased cardiovascular risk. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed in a large amount in Western Countries. Coffee beverages contain several hundred different substances, but its effects of coffee on cardiovascular system have been mainly related to caffeine. Caffeine is present in a number of dietary sources consumed worldwide i.e. tea, coffee, cocoa beverages, chocolate bars and soft drinks. Caffeine exerts various effects on the autonomic nervous system and on blood vessels. It is well-known that a dietary intake and lifestyle play an important role in hypertension. Meta-analyses of randomized control trials that examined the effects of coffee and caffeine intake on blood pressure presented conflicting results. Shortterm administration of caffeine in non-coffee drinkers increases blood pressure, plasma renin activity, and catecholamines. Heavy coffee drinkers seem to have negative effects mainly due to the activation of sympathetic system, i.e. rise in blood pressure, increase of risk of develop coronary artery disease. On contrary a moderate consumption shows no detrimental effects on cardiovascular system. In addition habitual coffee drinkers have less sympathetic response. Recent studies underling the antioxidants properties of coffee due to different compounds.
Keywords: Coffee, caffeine, hypertension, inflammation
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