Decaf gives the same kick as regular coffee

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The Independent Online

It may be a decaf but it still carries a kick. Scientists studying coffee have found that a triple espresso has a marked effect, regardless of whether it contains caffeine.

It may be a decaf but it still carries a kick. Scientists studying coffee have found that a triple espresso has a marked effect, regardless of whether it contains caffeine.

The beverage caused an increase in the activity of the nervous system in both occasional and regular coffee drinkers, and the blood pressure of occasional drinkers rose.

Roberto Corti, a cardiologist at the University of Zurich who led the study of 15 volunteers, said it was the first time such disparities had been reported. He said the results, published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, suggest an unknown ingredient in coffee other than caffeine stimulates the heart. Coffee contains hundreds of different substances.

"Until now we have attributed the cardiovascular effects of coffee to caffeine, but we found non-coffee drinkers given decaffeinated coffee also display these effects," he said. "This demonstrates how little we know about the effects of one of our most popular beverages."

One implication of the findings is that the potentially adverse effects of coffee on the heart could be less hazardous in regular drinkers with normal blood pressure. Whether people with high blood pressure should avoid decaffeinated coffee remains unclear.

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