Caffeine consumption has been associated with reducing the risks for metabolic diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Now researchers have found that coffee can protect the heart from damage.

According to a study published in science journal PLOS Biology, drinking four cups of coffee a day could help move regulatory protein into mitochondria, which boosts its function of protecting heart cells from damage.

The gene called p27 is found in mitochondria was identified as boosting heart function.

Newsweek reports that the German research team suggests that the equivalent of four or more espresso shots could protect the heart cells from dying. These benefits may also improve your ability to recover from a heart attack.

Other than it’s cardiovascular benefits, Nutrition Fitness notes that coffee can improve exercise performance and memory. It is also high in vitamins and minerals — particularly vitamin B2.

The study involved pre-diabetic and obese, mice; cells cultured from humans. It is unclear if the benefits will be the same in a human-based study.

Professor Judith Haendeler of the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Duesseldorf told ABC News that diet and exercise may play a key role as it cannot be indicated on the human cells in the study.

“Our research with mice and primary human cells cannot completely mirror the exact situation of a living human being. You cannot simply adjust exercise and diet as you go along with cultured cells.

The results were published in the journal PLOS Biology.

The co-author of the study revealed that one of the goes was to debunk the idea that coffee is bad for the heart. However, the researchers warn that coffee should be consumed in moderation because it can be lethal in high doses.

With a Starbucks on every corner, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. However, the researchers warn that people can’t just take caffeine pills and expect results. High-caloric coffee drinks such as a Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino can contain up to 420 calories.

Newsweek notes that other studies have found many benefits in coffee with a systemic review of about 100 studies concluding that the energy-boosting drink can reduce the risk of prostate, colon and breast cancer.

The study notes that coffee could benefit an elderly population, who are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

62 percent of Americans drink coffee daily and 66 billion cups are consumed annually. The average coffee drinker drinks 3.1 cups per day, which is close to the recommended amount in the study.

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