Three cups of coffee a day can slash the risk of cardiovascular disease by more than a fifth, according to new research.
Scientists say the brew, enjoyed by millions as the perfect pick me up, is rich in antioxidants which protect the brain and heart.
A review of previous studies found a few cuppas a day made deadly heart attacks and strokes 21 per cent less likely.
It comes a week after other research found the same consumption level cuts the chance of suffering dementia by over a quarter.
The latest findings pooled the data of more than one million people and found women, in particular, appear to benefit most from coffee’s heart boosting effects.
Three to five cups a day produced the best results, with the greatest risk reduction achieved at the lower end of this scale.
Higher quantities were associated with a smaller reduction in total mortality, reports the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee which is funded by major European coffee companies such as illycaffe, Nestle and DE Master Blenders.
It pooled data from independently funded previous studies that and had no links with the coffee industry.
The report said the scientific evidence suggests no link between coffee drinking and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which accounts for almost half of all deaths in Europe.
But the authors advised younger people should avoid heavy consumption, adding the finding should be assessed in older populations.
Each year, cardiovascular disease claims the lives of more than four million Europeans, amounting to one death every seven seconds.
The researchers said many studies have suggested coffee may help protect against heart disease, with the greatest protection seen at a moderate intake.
A large US study of more than 2,500 cardiovascular disease deaths suggested a positive association between coffee consumption and mortality from all causes in men, and also in men and women below 55 years of age.
The researchers said coffee consumption was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease, weakly associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure and not associated with a higher risk of fatal cardiovascular events.
Overall, for most healthy people, they said moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to adversely affect cardiovascular health.
Professor Antonio Vaz Carneiro, of the University of Lisbon in Portugal, said the findings were presented at a meeting of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation and were released to coincide with World Heart Day.
He said: “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a major public health concern across Europe, but improvements in medical interventions as well as significant developments in preventative aspects of care have reduced the risk of CVD mortality.
“With this in mind, it is important to explore and acknowledge factors which might have a protective effect to continue to make strides in reducing CVD mortality.
“The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), a not-for-profit organisation devoted to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health, hosted a Satellite Symposium on the subject of ‘Coffee and CVD Mortality’ where leading researchers in this field presented the latest research.
“The Symposium provided a unique opportunity to highlight and consider recent research, which has shown an association between moderate coffee consumption and a reduced risk of CVD mortality.
“This report details the research presented at the Symposium and highlights the potential role of coffee in CVD mortality risk reduction.”
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