Coffee lovers can take comfort in a new finding that shows their caffeine habit won't hurt their arteries.
In fact, British researchers said drinking a lot of coffee -- even up to 25 cups a day -- doesn't appear to make your arteries stiff.
The investigators noted that reports on coffee have been conflicting and confusing, and they hope their study will put these reports into perspective.
"Despite the huge popularity of coffee worldwide, different reports could put people off from enjoying it. Whilst we can't prove a causal link in this study, our research indicates coffee isn't as bad for the arteries as previous studies would suggest," said lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Fung, from Queen Mary University of London.
For the study, Fung and colleagues collected data on more than 8,400 adults who had MRI heart scans and pulse wave tests (which assess artery condition). Those participants who drank lots of coffee were likely to be men, smokers and regular drinkers of alcohol.
The researchers found that drinking as many as 25 cups of coffee a day didn't affect the arteries.
To confirm their findings, the researchers took factors that can affect the arteries into account, including age, sex, ethnicity, smoking, height, weight, alcohol consumption, diet and high blood pressure.
Fung's team, however, couldn't say exactly how much coffee is too much.
"Although our study included individuals who drink up to 25 cups a day, the average intake amongst the highest coffee consumption group was five cups a day," Fung said in a British Heart Foundation news release.
"We would like to study these people more closely in our future work so that we can help to advise safe limits," he added.
The findings were presented Sunday at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference, in Manchester. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The American Heart Association offers more information on coffee and heart disease.
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