Does drinking coffee increase the risk of hypertension? How many have wondered, given that coffee is one of the most loved and drunk drinks in the world. Well, it seems that coffee can even reduce the risk of developing hypertension, although not in all cases. But let's understand better by analyzing a review published a few weeks ago in the Current Hypertension Reports by a Polish team in collaboration with American scientists (Surma et al, Curr Hypertens Rep, 2021).
The benefits of coffee
It is estimated that 2.5 billion cups of coffee are drunk every day in the world. It is therefore legitimate to ask what effects coffee can have on health. Several researches have focused on the action of this drink, noting that coffee shows beneficial properties on the nervous, cardiovascular and digestive systems. It has even been found that regular consumption of 2-3 coffee per day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and some types of skin cancer. Instead, the action of coffee on blood pressure and the risk of developing hypertension is controversial. That's why Polish and American researchers wrote a review, in order to compare the results of previous studies and understand how coffee can affect blood pressure.
Coffee and the effect on blood pressure, research
What has emerged is that, in regular coffee drinkers and non-smokers, drinking up to three cups a day has no effect on blood pressure. Indeed, in this case it has been observed that coffee can even reduce the risk of developing hypertension. It is different if a person drinks coffee only rarely. In these cases, however, the drink can cause increases in blood pressure and may even increase the risk of hypertension in predisposed people. For people with diagnosed hypertension, moderate and regular coffee consumption does not worsen cardiovascular risk or increase the risk of uncontrolled blood pressure. Indeed, a moderate and regular consumption of coffee can even reduce the risk of mortality linked to diseases of various kinds. Finally, the greatest benefits of coffee were observed in non-smokers.
The different mechanisms of action of coffee on pressure
It is believed that the antihypertensive properties of coffee are due to a double action. First of all, coffee contains substances such as chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid and trigonellin that counteract hypertension by protecting blood vessels and their elasticity. Then, the coffee can act by restoring balance in the intestinal microbiota. In particular, coffee supports and promotes the proliferation of bacteria of the Bacteroids type, which are associated with a reduction in blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic.