While coffee rarely springs to mind when you’re looking for a healthy beverage, it turns out drinking not one, not two, not three, but four cups a day could have some serious health benefits.
Now we’re not suggesting you pack four large full fat lattes into your daily diet, but researchers in Germany do say they’ve found that the equivalent of four expresso shots a day could be good for your ticker.
The study, published in ‘PLOS Biology’ by Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied claims coffee stimulates a protein called P27, which is known to regenerate heart cells and protect them from damage.
Because of this they believe the daily four cups can help to repair the heart after a heart attack and would be particularly beneficial to elderly people who have hearts which are more prone to damage.
“Our results indicate a new mode of action for caffeine, one that promotes protection and repair of heart muscle through the action of mitochondrial p27,” Dr. Haendeler said.
“These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population.”
The study was only conducted on mice however, but did show that caffeine protected the hearts of obese, old and pre-diabetic rodents.
From the results they concluded that drinking four cups of coffee was optimum for humans.
Professor Tim Chico, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at University of Sheffield commented on the study and said that while the findings were “interesting” they need to be confirmed in clinical trials.