Coffee vs. Soda - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/9/05

Coffee vs. Soda

For Diane Gollrad, coffee is the fuel that keeps her running from sun-up to sundown. "I drink four or five cups a day. And it's always been a concern because it's always been considered a health risk," says Diane. Today, that's good news.

A new study says all of that coffee doesn't lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, something previous studies had suggested.  Diane was one of 155-thousand female nurses who doctors have been studying for 12-years. They found no link between coffee consumption and hypertension - a major risk for heart disease affecting nearly 50-million people in the u.s."Those women who consumed the most coffee were at the lowest risk of developing high blood pressure," says researcher, Wolfgang Winkelmayer. 

But there was also a surprising finding: women who drank four or more sodas each day - sugared or diet - did have a higher risk of hypertension. This is not the news 23-year-old Whitney Clarkson wanted to hear. "Basically I have a can on my desk almost at all times and if I run out I usually have a backup somewhere in my desk," says Whitney. The question: is it the caffeine in soda or something else that leads to hypertension?

Today, the American Beverage Association says today's study "...exonerates caffeine as a risk factor for hypertension." But, researchers say that's premature and that caffeine could still be to blame. But in coffee, antioxidant ingredients may counter the affects of caffeine and protect the heart. That might explain why more coffee equals less hypertension. "It just puts women at peace that they can enjoy to morning or afternoon habit without having to fear any long term consequences on their blood pressure," says Dr. Winkelmayer. Researchers will now examine in-depth the relationship between colas, caffeine and hypertension, this time in men.

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