Large study says moderate coffee consumption may be good for your heart after years of debate

The decades-long debate over whether coffee is bad for heart health appears to have finally been settled. 

For years health experts have released conflicting information about the health benefits and dangers of coffee: That it's linked to longer life, both higher and lower rates of cancer, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but a heightened risk of cardiac arrhythmias - irregular heartbeats. 

Earlier research by health experts suggested those with heart issues avoid caffeinated products to lower the risk of arrhythmias, which seemed to be the most commonly pointed to health risk from coffee consumption. 

But a recent study of more than 300,000 participants - the largest of its kind - has found that there is no evidence moderate coffee consumption causes cardiac arrhythmia. 

In fact, it may do the opposite.

According to the study published last month in health journal JAMA, "neither habitual coffee consumption nor genetically mediated differences in caffeine metabolism were associated with a heightened risk of cardiac arrhythmias". 

In fact, researchers at the University of California found each additional daily cup of coffee was associated with a three percent reduced risk of developing an arrhythmia. 

"This is particularly important for the many patients with benign palpitations who are devastated when they think, or are told, that they have to stop drinking coffee," researchers pointed out in their invited commentary on the study. 

The findings echoed a similar, much smaller study out of Australia in 2018, which found drinking a moderate amount of coffee can help protect people from developing arrhythmia. 

The conclusion of that study suggested drinking up to three cups of coffee a day may be safe. However, the researchers added energy drinks containing caffeine should still be avoided by patients with pre-existing heart conditions as they can contain as much caffeine as six cups of coffee in a single drink.