Coffee and Blood Pressure

What is the connection between coffee and blood pressure? Does drinking coffee raise blood pressure? Scroll down for answers to these questions..
There has been a lot said and written about the connection between coffee and blood pressure, over the years. This issue has had a lot of controversial remarks from people all around the world, mainly due to the inconsistent results obtained by the several clinical studies performed. However, recent research has brought in light some interesting facts about the relation between coffee and blood pressure and has helped to develop a clearer opinion about coffee and blood pressure.

Coffee is one of the widely consumed beverages in the world. The main constituent of coffee is caffeine, which is a mild to moderate stimulant. It is naturally found in many nuts, berries and leaves of certain parts. Caffeine is consumed by people in all human cultures, in different forms, high blood mainly through coffee and tea. This is the main reason why the link between coffee and blood pressure has been an active field of study.

Does Coffee Raise the Blood Pressure?

This is a common question asked when debating about the pros and cons of drinking coffee. The caffeine content of coffee is higher than that of tea and that is the reason why drinking coffee has become a much debated issue. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can cause nervousness and can raise the blood pressure. A stimulant is known to increase the activity of the central nervous system making the people feel focused and alert on consuming the stimulant. The increased activity due to the stimulant may also cause constriction of blood vessels and increase the blood pressure thus altering the blood supply to the heart. Let us read in detail how caffeine works.

Caffeine is a stimulant and as stated above, can cause elevation in the blood pressure due to blood vessels constriction. A hormone, adenosine, interacts with numerous brain cells and stimulates them to widen the arteries and allow proper blood supply. However, caffeine inhibits the release of adenosine, which may cause blood vessel constriction resulting in high blood pressure. Another thing that supports the association between coffee and blood pressure, is that caffeine is also known to stimulate the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands release or pump adrenaline throughout the body and can also cause rise in the blood pressure. Thus, caffeine or coffee, is believed to raise blood pressure.

However, the increased blood pressure does not last long. It is temporary and does not contribute to the serious problem of hypertension. Caffeine is a very mild stimulant and has a short life span in the body. Hence the caffeine induced blood pressure changes are small and short lived. Moreover, if taken in moderate amounts, that is around 300 mg a day, which comes to about 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day, it is not at all harmful. Studies indicate that the body develops a tolerance for caffeine if taken regularly and does not result in any long term effects on the blood pressure. Some researches say that non regular drinkers have a higher risk of heart diseases as there can be abrupt changes in the blood pressure due to the caffeine. It does, no matter what kind of coffee you drink as the connection between decaffeinated coffee and blood pressure is similar to that of caffeinated coffee.

This was all about coffee and blood pressure. So, enjoy your daily cup of coffee as earlier without thinking much of the association between black coffee and blood pressure! However, those with a blood pressure problem should limit their coffee consumption to a moderate level! Take care!
By Amruta Deshpande
Published: 4/15/2010
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