The most widespread gender differences seen for espresso; the narrowest for coffee (cafetière).
The sex of the drinker, as well as the method of making coffee, may be key to the link between coffee and increased cholesterol, a known risk factor for heart disease, suggests the study published May 10, 2022, in the open access journal Open Heart.
Drinking espresso has been linked to the greatest gender difference in cholesterol levels; The results showed that coffee coffee (cafetière) was the narrowest related.
The natural chemicals found in coffee — diterpenes, cafestol and kahweol — raise blood cholesterol levels. The brewing method has an effect, but it is not clear what impact espresso can have and in what amount.
Therefore, the researchers wanted to compare espresso with other brewing methods in adults 40 and older (the average age is 56).
They collected data from 21,083 participants (11,074 women; 10009 men) who responded to the seventh survey of the Tromsø Study in 2015-16, a long-term population study, started in 1974, involving residents of the city of Tromsø, Norway.
Participants were asked how many cups of coffee they drank daily — no, 1-2 cups; 3-5; and 6 or more — and the beer they drank — are filtered; piston (cafetière); espresso coffee from coffee machine, pod, mocha jar, etc.; and instantly.
Blood samples were taken, measuring height and weight. Information is also sought on potentially influencing factors: diet and lifestyle, including smoking, drinking, and physical activity; education level; And whether type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed or not.
Women drink an average of just under 4 cups of coffee per day while men drink an average of nearly 5 cups.
Analysis of the data showed that the link between coffee and total serum cholesterol varies, depending on the brewing method, with significant gender differences for all types of coffee except piston coffee.
“Coffee is the most frequently consumed central stimulant worldwide. Because of the consumption of a lot of coffee, even small can have significant health consequences. ”
Drinking 3-5 cups of espresso daily is significantly associated with an increase in the total amount of cholesterol in the serum, especially in men.
Compared to non-drinkers, this type of consumption was associated with an increase in serum cholesterol of 0.09 mmol/l in women compared to 0.16 mmol/l in men.
The daily tally from 6 cups of piston coffee was also associated with increased cholesterol and to a similar extent in both sexes: women were 0.30 mmol/l taller than men who were 0.23 mmol/l taller.
And drinking 6 or more cups of filtered coffee per day was associated with an increase in cholesterol of 0.11 mmol/l in women, but not in men, when compared to those who did not drink filtered coffee.
Although instant coffee has been linked to an increase in cholesterol in both sexes, this does not increase along with the number of cups taken, when compared to those who did not choose powder/coffee beans.
The researchers pointed out that no standard cup sizes were used in their study; For example, Norwegians tend to drink larger espressos than Italians.
Different types of espresso – from coffee machines, tablets, or mocha jars – are also capable of containing different levels of important natural chemicals.
And there is still no clear explanation of the sex differences in cholesterol responses when drinking coffee, they added.
“Interestingly, coffee contains over a thousand diverse phytochemicals. The consumption of each compound also depends on the variety of coffee species, the degree of roasting, the type of brewing method and the ration,” they explain.
Experimental studies show that cafestol and kahweol, as well as increasing total cholesterol levels, have anti-inflammatory effects, protect the liver and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, they added.
The researchers emphasized: “This demonstrates that coffee contains compounds that can lead to multiple mechanisms of simultaneous action.
And they note: “Coffee is the most frequently consumed central stimulant worldwide. Because of the consumption of a lot of coffee, even small can have significant health consequences. ”
Reference: “Link between espresso and total serum cholesterol: Tromsø Study 2015–2016” May 10, 2022, Open Heart.
DOI: 10.1136 / openhrt-2021-00194
Funding: Northern Norway Regional Health Authority; The Research Council of Norway; Norwegian Council on Cardiovascular Diseases