A new study updates a classic debate. The research led by the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, revealed that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of clogged arteries. The study was published in the Journal Heart and included 25,000 Korean men and women with an average age of 41. None of them suffered of any heart disease and were categorised as people who drank none, less than 1 cup a day, 3 to 5 cups per day and 5 or more per day. The coronary artery calcium screening showed that the amount of calcium in the walls of the arteries was the lowest among the group that drinks 3-5 cups.

These findings reopen the debate about whether coffee is good for the cardiovascular system. The 'magic drink' has often been linked to increased cholesterol concentrations and heightened blood pressure. Coffee also contains the stimulant caffeine, as well as many other compounds, but it's not clear yet if these might be good or harmful.

"We need to take care when generalising the results because the study is based on the South Korean population, who, as we know, have different diet and lifestyle habits to people in the United Kingdom," declared Victoria Taylor of the British Heart Foundation.

Risk factors

The human circulatory system is responsible of keeping blood, oxygen and nutrients flowing through the body, ensuring that all its functions are working properly.

While arteries carry blood with oxygen from the heart out to our body, veins carry the blood without oxygen back from our body to our heart.

Factors like genetics, hight level of blood cholesterol, excessive alcohol use, sedentary lifestyle, dietary saturated fat and refined white sugar consumption, all contribute to the appearance of fatty deposits, cellular waste products and calcium on the walls of the blood vessels.

Over time, these deposits turn into plaque, causing the arteries to become narrow and to lose their elasticity. Blood circulation and flow is hampered or reduced and our health is compromised.

In order to prevent this, it is very important to change our lifestyle, to give up alcohol and cigarettes, practice sports regularly, adopt a healthy diet based on vegetables and good proteins and to avoid eating fried foods, animal fats and sugar.

Other foods that do wonders for your arteries are garlic, grapes, apples, pears, spinach, seafood, oily fish, blueberries, beets, etc. In the absence of a balanced diet, these atherosclerotic plaques get bigger, and the risk of developing different types of heart disease increases. A blocked or clogged artery can cause serious health problems such as stroke, ischemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, hypertension and kidney failure.