Espresso coffee’s effect on cholesterol differs for men and women

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Scientists from the UiT The Arctic University of Norway have conducted a study to examine how drinking espresso coffee affects cholesterol levels.

Coffee, a popular beverage, contains caffeine and various chemical compounds that can influence cholesterol.

The study aimed to understand the impact of different brewing methods, particularly espresso, on total cholesterol levels in the body.

Understanding Coffee and Cholesterol

Coffee is a brewed drink made from roasted coffee beans and contains caffeine, which can increase energy levels and decrease fatigue. It also contains micronutrients.

Previous research has shown that coffee can raise cholesterol levels due to its chemical compounds, such as diterpenes called cafestol and kahweol.

The brewing method plays a significant role in the levels of these compounds, with boiled and plunger coffee having higher amounts compared to filtered coffee.

The Study and Findings

Researchers analyzed data from the Tromsø Study, which included over 21,000 participants aged 40 years and older.

They focused on total cholesterol, which includes both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The study found the following associations:

Drinking 3-5 cups of espresso coffee daily was strongly linked to increased total cholesterol levels compared to no espresso consumption.

Consuming more than 6 cups of boiled/plunger coffee daily was associated with increased total cholesterol levels compared to no consumption.

Women who drank more than 6 cups of filtered coffee daily showed higher total cholesterol levels, but this association was not observed in men.

Drinking instant coffee showed a trend toward increased cholesterol levels, but it was not statistically significant.

Gender Differences and Clinical Implications

The study revealed that the effects of coffee on cholesterol differed between men and women. Espresso coffee was linked to increased total cholesterol, with a more pronounced effect in men.

Boiled/plunger coffee raised total cholesterol levels in both genders, while filtered coffee had a small impact on women’s cholesterol levels.

Understanding these differences can lead to improved recommendations regarding coffee consumption.

Given that coffee is one of the most widely consumed stimulants globally, even small health effects can have significant consequences.

The study highlights the importance of considering espresso coffee’s impact on cholesterol in clinical practice.

It provides valuable insights into the potential risks associated with different coffee types, particularly for men and women.

Further research in this area can help refine recommendations and promote informed decision-making regarding coffee consumption.

The research, conducted by Åsne Lirhus Svatun et al., was published in the journal Open Heart.

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