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How coffee brew technique affects cholesterol

Wednesday May 11th 2022

The link between coffee and cholesterol levels may be linked to an individual's sex and the brewing method they use, according to an analysis published today.

Coffee raises serum cholesterol because it contains diterpenes, cafestol and kahweol, explain Professor Maja-Lisa Lochen of UiT, the Arctic University of Norway, and colleagues in today's *Open Heart* journal.

The effect also varies by brewing method, they add. He reports on a study into espresso coffee’s impact on cholesterol versus other brewing methods.

His researchers analysed information from a population survey of 21,083 men and women aged 40 and above in Northern Norway.

This suggested that drinking three to five cups of espresso per day was significantly linked to increased serum total cholesterol compared with no espresso.

Drinking six or more cups of 'boiled/plunger' coffee daily was also linked to high cholesterol compared with zero cups.

"There were significant sex differences for all coffee types except boiled/plunger coffee," state the authors.

They conclude: "Espresso coffee consumption was associated with increased serum total cholesterol with significantly stronger association for men compared with women.

"Boiled/plunger coffee was associated with increased serum total cholesterol in both sexes and with similar magnitude as shown in previous research. Filtered coffee was associated with a small increase in serum total cholesterol in women."

They call for further research on espresso and its relationship with cholesterol, as coffee is the most frequently consumed central stimulant worldwide, so "even small health effects can have considerable health consequences".

Svatun, A. L. et al. Association between espresso coffee and serum total cholesterol: the Tromsø Study 2015-2016. *Open Heart* 11 May 2022 doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2021-001946

[abstract]

Tags: Diet & Food | Europe | Heart Health

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