ZocdocAnswersIs coffee and tea bad for the heart?

Question

Is coffee and tea bad for the heart?

I have heard so much conflicting information about coffee and tea when it comes to heart health, that I am confused as to whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, these beverages may contain antioxidants which can have a protective effect, whereas on the other hand, the caffeine may become too problematic by raising heart rate to unnatural levels. Should I be concerned with my morning cup of coffee and my daily tea habit, or has the negative aspect of caffeine been overblown? I don't drink it in excess, and I am fairly careful about everything else I eat. I also exercise, which also raises my heart rate quite effectively.

Answer

Glad to hear that you are concerned about your heart health. It can be confusing, even for doctors, to keep up on the latest ideas and research with regards to supplements, medications, and even regular dietary advice. So much of the research can be interpreted in different ways, which makes it hard to determine which advice is best for patients, and can even lead to some variation in recommendations. Ultimately, however, the recommendations that you get will be best when they come from the doctor who you work with. He or she will be able to recall and ask questions about your history so that the correct diet and medical plan can be arranged. He or she may also ask you to visit with a nutritionist or dietician to come up with appropriate recommendations. Please speak with your doctor. In general, it would be hard to find a doctor who would tell you that daily coffee and tea in moderation are bad for you. While there may be some benefits, it is also unlikely that your doctor would tell you to start drinking either to expect a benefit if you didn't drink already. In short, please speak with your doctor for the best answer for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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