7 Ways Coffee and Caffeine Affect the Heart

Do coffee and caffeine increase the risk of heart disease?

By drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages throughout the day, you may be increasing the risk factors that cause heart disease. Here are the top seven reasons that kicking the coffee habit can help you to decrease these risks for your heart’s sake!

1. Coffee drinking increases risk of heart attack

Recent research shows that over half the population studied has a genetic variation that slows the metabolism of caffeine and increases the risk of heart attack. If people with these genes drink two cups of coffee a day, their risk of heart attack increases by 32%. If they drink four or more cups a day, their risk jumps to 64%. For people under the age of 59, the risk of heart attack associated with coffee drinking is even higher: one cup a day increases their risk of heart attack by 24%, two to three cups a day by 67%, and four or more cups of coffee a day by 133%!1 People who drank less than 1 cup of coffee a day did not show increased risk of heart attacks.

Protect your heart by finding out if you’re a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine. Take a saliva genetic test at 23andme.com and learn valuable information about your genetic predisposition to many health conditions.

2. Caffeine raises blood pressure

Drinking caffeinated beverages has been shown to significantly increase blood pressure.2 High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a silent disease that can create devastating complications, including hardening of the arteries, kidney problems, poor eyesight, aneurysms (bulges in blood vessels), and heart attacks. By limiting your caffeine intake, you can make great progress towards lowering your blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure regularly to be sure it’s in the healthy range.

3. Coffee and decaf increase cholesterol levels

Both regular and decaffeinated coffees are linked to higher levels of cholesterol. Decaf coffee has been shown to raise the LDL cholesterol – so called “bad” cholesterol – by 8-10% in three months.3 Drinking unfiltered coffee, such as espresso beverages and coffee brewed in the French press, has been shown to raise cholesterol higher than drinking drip coffee.

If you have high cholesterol, reducing coffee drinking should be part of the dietary changes you make to help lower your cholesterol.

4. Caffeine increases blood vessel stiffness

Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a risk factor that contributes to heart disease and high blood pressure. Studies show that drinking caffeinated beverages is linked to greater stiffness of the artery walls.4 Limit your caffeine intake and you’ll limit your risk of arteriosclerosis!

5. Coffee raises homocysteine levels

Homocysteine is an amino acid associated with increased risk of heart attack. Studies show that drinking both regular and decaffeinated coffee significantly increases homocysteine in the bloodstream, even more so than caffeine alone.5 This increase in homocysteine is noted within hours of coffee consumption.6

Monitor your homocysteine levels on the blood test during your annual checkup. Quitting coffee can be an important step in reducing elevated homocysteine.

6. Coffee elevates stress hormones

Sress is one of the leading risk factors for heart attacks. Caffeine, specifically in coffee, has been shown to elevate stress hormones including cortisol.7 These hormones are responsible for increased heart rate and blood pressure, and a sense of “emergency alert”. Caffeine consumption can put you in a continual state of increased stress that can chronically increase blood pressure and affect normal heart rate and rhythm. Your immune system is also weakened when stress hormones are high. It’s hard enough to get a handle on our daily stress without unnecessarily contributing to it. Decreasing caffeine and coffee intake can go a long way towards managing your stress more effectively.

7. Coffee drinking increases inflammation

Inflammation of the artery walls is a risk factor for heart attacks that doctors now think may be even more significant than cholesterol levels. Studies suggest that coffee drinkers have a higher rate of inflammation, even from drinking just six ounces (3/4 cup) of coffee per day!8 Inflammation may lead to other chronic diseases too. You can start decreasing inflammation today by limiting your coffee intake.

Teeccino makes it easy to quit coffee!

The good news is, you can quit caffeine painlessly by blending Teeccino with your regular coffee and gradually weaning off over a period of two weeks. Teeccino has heart-healthy potassium that gives you a natural energy boost from nutrients that won't negatively affect your heart, unlike coffee. Check out our Testimonials to learn how Teeccino has helped people with a variety of heart issues.



  1. Cornelis, Marilyn, et al 2006
  2. Waring, W.S., et al 2003; Jeong, D.U. and Dimsdale, J.E. 1990
  3. Lindahl, B., et al 1991; Salvaggio, A., 1991; Aro A., et al 1989; Green M. S., et al 1992; van Dusseldorp, M., et al 1990
  4. Olthof, M.R., et al 2001
  5. Verhoef, P., et al 2002
  6. Zampelas, A., et al 2004
  7. Vlachopoulos C, Hirata K, Stefanadis C, Toutouzas P, O'Rourke MF. 2003; Vlachopoulos C, Hirata K, O'Rourke MF. 2003; Mahmud, A., Feely J. 2001.
  8. al'Absi, M., et al 1998


al'Absi, M., Lovallo, W.R., McKey, B., Sung, B.H., Whitsett, T.L. and Wilson, M.F. 1998. Hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenocortical responses to psychological stress and caffeine in men at high and low risk for hypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine 60(4): 521-7.

Aro A, Pietinen P, Uusitalo U, Tuomilehto J. 1989. Coffee and tea consumption, dietary fat intake and serum cholesterol concentration of Finnish men and women. Journal of Internal Medicine 226(6): 127-32.

Cornelis, Marilyn; El-Sohemy, Ahmed; Kabagambe, Edmond K.; Campos, Hannia. 2006. Coffee, CYP1A2 Genotype, and Risk of Myocardial Infarction. JAMA 295(10): 1134-1140.

Green M.S., Harari G. 1992. Association of serum lipoproteins and health-related habits with coffee and tea consumption in free-living subjects examined in the Israeli CORDIS Study. Preventive medicine. 21(4): 532-45.