Cardiovascular health

Coffee consumption and flow-mediated dilation

Only a small number of studies have considered the impact of coffee and caffeine consumption on flow mediated dilation, with variable results. Clearly, more and larger tests are needed to establish the true nature and implications of this short-term vasoconstrictor effect in the brachial artery.

  • In two small experiments, with 15 and 20 participants respectively, researchers tested for effects of decaffeinated and caffeinated espresso coffee on the flow-mediated dilation in the brachial artery48,49. They tested for a very short-term effect, up to 60 minutes after consumption. They observed a 22% reduction of the flow-mediated dilation after consumption of a cup of caffeinated espresso. After the decaffeinated espresso, there was indication of an opposite effect, but this did not reach statistical significance.
  • A further small study published in 2016 compared flow-mediated dilation in caffeine consumers to caffeine abstainers, concluding that after 8 weeks no significant difference on flow mediated dilation between the groups was observed50.

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