Scientists explain the link between coffee consumption and high cholesterol levels

(ORDO NEWS) — The link between coffee consumption and elevated cholesterol levels is known from previous scientific papers.

Researchers from Norway looked into the problem in more detail and came to the conclusion that the increase in cholesterol levels due to regular coffee consumption depends on the method of brewing it and the gender of the drinker.

Coffee is the most commonly consumed central nervous system stimulant in the world. And Norway, home of the authors of the study , ranks second in coffee consumption.

Due to the large amount of coffee consumed, even small health effects of this popular beverage can have significant public health implications, making this an important and socially relevant research topic.

Natural chemicals found in coffee – diterpenes, cafestol and kahweol – increase blood cholesterol levels. Growth depends on the method of brewing.

In particular, scientists have found that freshly brewed and brewed in a French press coffee has a higher content of cafestol and kahweol than, for example, filtered.

It is coffee from the French press that raises cholesterol levels the most. Espresso, on the other hand, has an intermediate content of cafestol and kahweol, and is the least known about its contribution to raising serum cholesterol levels.

“Previous research on espresso is sparse, variable in results, and somewhat suboptimal in design,” the authors of the new paper say.

So they decided to compare espresso with other brewing methods among adults aged 40 and over (mean age 56).

The scientists relied on data from 21,083 participants (11,074 women and 10,009 men) who responded to the seventh wave survey in Tromsø in 2015-2016.

The Tromso study is a long-term demographic study that began in 1974 with the participation of residents of the Norwegian city of Tromso and had several waves.

Participants were asked how many cups of coffee they drank per day none, one or two, three to five, six or more and what type of drink they preferred: filtered, French press coffee, espresso from coffee machines (capsules, mochas, etc.). below) and soluble.

The researchers took blood samples from the participants and measured their height and weight. They also asked for information about potentially influencing factors: diet and lifestyle, including smoking, alcohol use and physical activity, education level, whether type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed.

Women drank an average of just under four cups of coffee a day, while men drank almost five.

Data analysis showed that the association between coffee and total serum cholesterol varied by brewing method, with significant gender differences for all types of French press bar coffee brews.

Drinking three to five cups of espresso per day was correlated with an increase in total serum cholesterol levels, especially among men.

Cholesterol levels were compared to baseline, which was the cholesterol level of those who did not drink coffee. Compared to baseline, this consumption pattern was associated with an increase in serum cholesterol levels of 0.09 mmol per liter in women versus 0.16 mmol per liter in men.

Drinking six or more cups of coffee daily was associated with an increase in cholesterol levels to the same extent in both sexes: by 0.30 millimoles per liter in women versus 0.23 millimoles per liter in men.

Finally, drinking six or more cups of filtered coffee each day was associated with a 0.11 millimol per liter increase in cholesterol levels among women, but not among men.

Although instant coffee was associated with higher cholesterol levels in both sexes, it did not increase with the number of cups consumed, unlike other types of coffee.

As the scientists note, their study did not use a standardized cup size. For example, Norwegians tend to drink from large cups, unlike Italians.

The authors add that different types of espresso from coffee machines, pods, or mocha pots also likely contain different levels of key natural chemicals.

But the most interesting thing is that there is still no obvious explanation for gender differences in the response of cholesterol to drinking coffee.

Researchers explain that coffee contains over a thousand different phytochemicals. The intake of each compound also depends on the type of coffee, roast level, brewing method, and serving size.

And the same substances cafestol and kahweol – increase total cholesterol levels, but at the same time have an anti-inflammatory effect, protect the liver and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes. Coffee contains compounds that can cause multiple mechanisms to work at the same time.

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