Coffee cuts risk of stroke in women

By Shayna Brouker • Published: June 7th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Your daily dose of coffee delivers a hefty amount of antioxidants, can boost your mood and help get you through a manic Monday. Now a new study shows one to five cups a day can cut stroke risk in women, who are often unaware of their risk to begin with.

The Swedish study followed more than thirty-four-thousand women for ten years and tracked their stroke rates.

The results show that women who downed four or more cups of joe a day enjoyed about a twenty-five percent reduced risk of stroke compared with women who sipped less than one cup per month. In fact, women who jumped ship on coffee altogether actually faced an increased risk of stroke.

Drinking coffee decreased women’s risk for total strokes, ischemic strokes and certain brain hemorrhages, in particular. Coffee consumption did not affect risk for hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain, but this could be due to the low number of these strokes in the study.

Previous studies have found that coffee also cuts the risk for diabetes, heart attack, dementia and liver and breast cancers. So what is it about that jolt of java that delivers such a powerful punch against these conditions?

Experts think it could have something to do with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to improve insulin sensitivity.

Who knew your humble medium-roast brew could do so much?

Experts caution not drastically changing your caffeine-quaffing habits, though, until more research is conducted. Conflicting studies have suggested that there might be a modest increase in stroke risk in the hour after drinking coffee because of increased heart rate and blood pressure.

But if you already enjoy your daily coffee regimen, there’s no harm in enjoying your cup — or two, or three a day.