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AHA: Coffee Improves Microvascular Endothelial Function

Caffeinated not decaf coffee enhances post-occlusive reactive hyperemia of finger blood flow

AHA: Coffee Improves Microvascular Endothelial Function

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking caffeinated coffee correlates with improved microvascular endothelial function, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16 to 19 in Dallas.

Masato Tsutsui, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, and colleagues examined the effect of caffeinated coffee on microvascular endothelial function in a crossover study involving 27 healthy volunteers. Participants drank a cup of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, and laser Doppler flowmetry was used to assess reactive hyperemia of finger blood flow. The protocol was repeated after an interval of more than two days.

The researchers found that, compared with decaffeinated coffee, caffeinated coffee correlated with a significant elevation in blood pressure and decreased finger blood flow. No significant difference was seen in heart rate between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Compared with decaffeinated coffee, caffeinated coffee correlated with significantly improved post-occlusive reactive hyperemia of finger blood flow. There was no significant difference in epinephrine or norepinephrine plasma levels with caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee.

"This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health," Tsutsui said in a statement.

The study was funded in part by the All Japan Coffee Association.

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