Friday, 11 January 2008

Coffee Gripe #1

The Australian National Heart Foundation makes the following claim on their website:
Certain methods of preparing coffee (such as boiling ground coffee beans for long periods) may lead to a higher blood cholesterol level.
What am I to make of that?

A couple of points:

Coffee contains no cholesterol as cholesterol is only found in animal fats. (I am assuming that they are not boiling the beans in milk.)

Coffee contains scant levels of fat, mostly flavouring oils, and the levels of saturated fat will be at levels only two fifths of four ninths of scant.

So I can't see coffee being a direct cause of blood cholesterol.

But could some extractable compound in the coffee be able to trigger cholesterol production, just as statins can reduce it? Maybe.

To prove it you would have to do a randomised clinical trail where some people are given over-boiled coffee and others are not, while controlling for diet, medical history and genetics. Whether the ethics committees would let you attempt to intentionally raise a person's blood cholesterol in the name of research is a moot point.

I have asked the NHF for a reference to this research.

I'll let you know what they say.


  1. I think you should have a nice cup of tea and a wee lie down!

  2. Interesting. I drink 6 coffees a day....strong coffees, and have done for many years. My cholesterol is 4.3, you'd think if it was going to affect anyone, it would be me!

  3. Just enjoy it, Lee. "Nothing in Excess".
    Everything is bad for you in large quantities, I guess.

  4. Granted. Nothing in excess. (No Cosmo, not even that. especially that.) But it annoys me that these guys are putting themselves up as experts.

  5. I was always told that you can prove or disprove anything by facts........well yes, but I prefer to pick my facts and listen to those that agree with my own. haha I love my coffee........don't care what they say. I am not supposed to have tea, but I have the occasional cup of that also. And they told my husband to give up wine, "the colestrol police", as my husband likes to call them. And his reply was, I don't think we all have our vices, and I guess if we are going to have high colestrol, we should be able to decide which vice we prefer to do the damage. Although I agree with you Lee, I think they are confused about this one, I have never heard or read anywhere, that coffee attributes to high colestrol.

  6. i'm no scientist, but could it be something to do with acid? i've heard that acidic foods encourage the storage of fat (though if i recall, it's only storage of fat around major organs)... maybe the particular method of preparation that you mention changes the acidity levels?


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