Listen Up Coffee Lovers. Caffeine May Actually be Good for You.Posted by Medicare Made Clear
Do you enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea in the morning to help you get up and go? Since caffeine is a stimulant, it may make you feel more awake and alert. But if you consume too much caffeine, you may experience side effects like heartburn, headaches, a fast heart beat or a host of other problems, some serious. For example, a person with a heart problem shouldn’t use caffeine because it may cause their heart to work too hard. And a person with an anxiety problem or panic attacks may find that caffeine makes them feel worse.
Good News for Coffee Lovers
The Food and Drug Administration says moderate amounts of caffeine may not have any harmful effects. In fact, moderate amounts may actually be good for you.1
How much is moderate? It depends on who you ask. According to the FDA, one to two 5-ounce cups of coffee each day is the limit.1 OhioHealth MedCentral Hospitals say about no more than three 8-ounce cups of coffee a day is enough.2
Here’s What the Research Says About Some Common Health Concerns Among Moderate Caffeine Users.2
- High blood pressure: Caffeine may temporarily raise blood pressure slightly. Blood pressure usually returns to normal once the body gets used to the caffeine.2
- Heart attacks: Studies at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School indicate caffeine does not show an increased risk for heart disease or heart attack.2
- Cholesterol levels: There are two substances in caffeine that could raise cholesterol levels. However, The American Heart Association says that paper filters take out these substances.2
- Diabetes: Middle-aged adults who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.2
- Cancer: Several recent studies suggest coffee drinkers were 25 to 75 percent less likely to get cancer of the colon, liver, and breast.2
- Cirrhosis: Studies show that people who drink alcohol but also drink three or more cups of coffee a day have half the risk for cirrhosis, compared with people who drink alcohol but not coffee.2
As you can see, coffee may have many health benefits for older adults if consumed in moderation.
No two people are exactly alike. Caffeine affects everyone differently. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor how much caffeine is safe for you.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
For Seniors: Is Caffeine a Good Thing?: OhioHealth MedCentral Hospitals
Medicines in my Home: Caffeine and Your Body: Food and Drug Administration
Medicare.gov: Visit the official U.S. government site for Medicare.
1 Medicines in my Home: Caffeine and Your Body: Food and Drug Administration, Fall 2007
2 For Seniors: Is Caffeine a Good Thing?, OhioHealth MedCentral Hospitals, February 23, 2015