Coffee lovers take heart - even 25 cups a day is no health threat
Coffee lovers who drink up to 25 cups a day can rest assured it is not bad for their heart, scientists say.
Some previous studies have suggested coffee stiffens arteries, with drinkers being warned to cut down their consumption of the caffeine-laden drink.
But a new study of more than 8,000 people found that drinking five cups a day - and even up to 25 - was no worse for the arteries than drinking less than a cup a day.
The research, which is part-funded by the British Heart Foundation, is being presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference in Manchester.
Experts from Queen Mary University of London divided 8,412 people into three groups.
The first was of those who drink less than one cup a day, the second was of those who drink between one and three, and the third was for those who drink more than three.
The average number for people in this group was five cups a day.
Researchers found that even those drinking up to 25 coffees a day were no more likely to have stiffening of arteries than those who drank less than one a day.
Previous studies have suggested that coffee stiffens arteries, putting pressure on the heart and increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.
All the participants in the latest study underwent MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, and the results held true even after factors such as age, weight and smoking status were taken into account.
Dr Kenneth Fung, from Queen Mary University of London, said: "Despite the huge popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it.
"Whilst we can't prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn't as bad for the arteries as previous studies would suggest.
"The average intake amongst the highest coffee consumption group was five cups a day," he said.
"We would like to study these people more closely in our future work so that we can help to advise safe limits."