Saturday, May 27, 2017 13:57

Caffeine Cholesterol Connection

Posted by on Friday, January 8, 2010, 12:30
This news item was posted in Cholesterol category and has 0 Comments so far.

Investigators have conducted numerous studies on the relationship between coffee, cholesterol and heart disease. Results have been inconclusive, however. Some of these studies show that when it comes to coffee and cholesterol, much depends on how the coffee is prepared .

Boiled coffee, like the kind drunk in Scandinavia and Turkey, tends to raise cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. But filtered coffee does not raise cholesterol or increase the risk of heart disease.

Researchers at Boston University polled 858 women hospitalized with a first heart attack and an equal number of healthy women on their health habits, including coffee consumption. Researchers found that compared with non coffee drinkers, women who said they drank five to six cups of coffee a day had a 40 percent greater risk of having a heart attack, women who drank seven to nine cups, a 70 percent greater risk.

But women who drank less than five cups of coffee a day had no higher risk than women who didn’t drink coffee at all. Investigators at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California, evaluated the relationship between coffee and tea intake and mortality rate including deaths from coronary heart disease in nearly 129,000 people.

After an eight year follow up period, neither coffee nor tea was found to have increased the overall death rate in these individuals. Drinking four or more cups of coffee a day wastied to a slightly higher risk of death from heart attack, however.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore had 100 healthy men drink varying amounts of filtered coffee: 24 ounces of regular coffee, 12 ounces of regular coffee, 24 ounces of decaffeinated coffee or no coffee at all. After eight weeks, the men who drank the 24 ounces of regular coffee a day experienced small increases in their total cholesterol, due to slight rises in their “bad’ LDLm and “good” HDL cholesterol.

The researchers concluded that these small increases in LDL and HDL together “should not affect coronary heart disease risk.” That’s because small changes in HDL can protect against much larger changes in LDL.

In Israel, researchers analyzed coffee and tea consumption and cholesterol levels in 5,369 people. The investigators’ conclusion:

The individuals who drank five or more cups of coffee a day had higher levels of total cholesterol as much as 18 milligrams/deciliter higher than the individuals who abstained from coffee. The researchers also noted that the people who drank the most coffee in their study were also the most likely to have negative health habits, especially smoking. “It is conceivable that the increased cholesterol levels in smokers may be confounded by coffee drinking,” wrote the researchers.

Some coffee drinkers may make other lifestyle choices that may be responsible for elevating their cholesterol levels.  For example,  caffeine tends to stimulate hunger in certain people. Some people may respond by eating foods that increase their cholesterol levels. But it’s difficult to isolate the effect of caffeine on cholesterol and to determine whether the increases in cholesterol are caused by caffeine or by something else.

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