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Indian researchers: Coffee won’t give extra heart beats

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New York: Indian-origin researchers reported that regular consumption of caffeine does not lead to extra heartbeats. Extra heartbeats can cause to the rare cases of stroke-related morbidity and mortality.

The study, led by researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), measured the chronic consumption of caffeinated products over a 12-month period.

“Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products should be reconsidered as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits,” said senior author Gregory Marcus, health cardiologist and director of clinical research.

“Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant,” he noted in a paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Excessive premature atrial contractions (PACs) have been shown to result in atrial fibrillation, stroke and death while excessive premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) have been shown to result in increased heart failure, coronary artery disease and death.

Both abnormalities have been tied to caffeine consumption through studies and trials but these studies were performed several decades ago and did not use PACs and PVCs as a primary outcome.

In their study, Marcus and his colleagues analysed 1,388 randomly selected participants.

Of the total participants, 840 (61 percent) consumed more than one caffeinated product daily.

The researchers found no differences in the number of PACs or PVCs per hour across levels of coffee, tea and chocolate consumption. More frequent consumption of these products was not associated with extra heartbeats.

“This was the first community-based sample to look at the impact of caffeine on extra heartbeats, as previous studies looked at people with known arrhythmias,” said lead author Shalini Dixit, a medical student at UCSF.

“Whether acute consumption of these caffeinated products affects extra heartbeats requires further study,” she said.

Recent growing evidence indicates the potential cardiovascular benefits of several common caffeinated products such as coffee, chocolate and tea.

The result is uncertainty in counselling patients on consumption of these products, with patients possibly reducing their intake to avoid presumed cardiac issues.(IANS)

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Your daily cup of coffee can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms

For the study, the team analysed the effect of caffeine on normal ageing mice and familial Alzheimers models

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Coffee can worsen Alzheimer's symptoms. IANS
  • Intake of coffee or caffeine may worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms
  • It may worsen their neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • There can be significant side effects too

Regular intake of coffee or caffeine by patients with Alzheimer’s disease may worsen their neuropsychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, say researchers. While it is well known that memory problems are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, this dementia is also characterised by neuropsychiatric symptoms, which may be strongly present already in the first stages of the disorder.

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Coffee can cause problems to the patients of Alzheimer’s disease. IANS

These are known as Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) and include anxiety, apathy, depression, hallucinations, paranoid, sundowning and more. The results indicate that caffeine worsened these symptoms in mice with Alzheimer’s. The researchers also discovered significant effects, especially in relation to neophobia — a fear of everything new — anxiety-related behaviours, and emotional and cognitive flexibility.

“The mice develop Alzheimer’s disease in a very close manner to the human patients with early-onset form of the disease,” said lead author Raquel Baeta-Corral from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. “They not only exhibit the typical cognitive problems but also a number of Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD)-like symptoms, so it is a valuable model to address whether the benefits of caffeine will be able to compensate its putative negative effects.”

Also Read: Reducing Alzheimer’s stigma crucial for prevention research

For the study, the team analysed the effect of caffeine on normal ageing mice and familial Alzheimers models. However, coffee has also been suggested as a strategy to prevent dementia, both in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in normal ageing processes, due to its action in blocking molecules – adenosine receptors – which may cause dysfunctions and diseases in old age.

It can worsen the condition of patients of Alzheimer's. Pixabay
It can worsen the condition of patients of Alzheimer’s. Pixabay

But “our observations of adverse caffeine effects in an Alzheimer’s disease model together with previous clinical observations suggest that an exacerbation of BPSD-like symptoms may partly interfere with the beneficial cognitive effects of caffeine”, the researchers said. IANS

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