Coffee And Health: Cholesterol. Another factor to consider when considering coffee’s health benefits is its possible effect on cholesterol levels, which may lead to a number of cardiovascular diseases. Cafestol and, to a lesser degree, kahweol, diterpene compounds present naturally in coffee oil and unfiltered coffees, have the potential to alter lipid enzymes, hence affecting cholesterol levels.
This association was shown to be linear up to a dosage of 100 mg cafestol, with each additional 10 mg cafestol raising blood total cholesterol levels by 0.15 mmol/L on average (Urgert and Katan, 1997). Jee et al. (2001) did a meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled studies examining the relationship between coffee intake and cholesterol and blood lipids.
The research-validated the dose-response relationship between coffee drinking and cholesterol. Additionally, a considerable increase was seen when six or more cups of boiling coffee were drunk daily. On the other hand, research on paper-filtered coffee revealed almost no rise in serum cholesterol.
Diterpene levels in cups vary significantly depending on preparation methods (Urgert et al., 1995; Gross et al., 1997), but also on blend due to the presence of Robusta, which contains almost no cafestol (Urgert and Katan, 1997), and there are regional, variety, and year variations, as with all-natural products.
Although filtered and soluble coffees are practically devoid of diterpenes (varying from 0e1 mg to 12 mg cafestol per cup), espresso-based procedures produce coffee with higher diterpene levels (ranging from 1e2 mg to 1e2 mg cafestol per cup). However, these amounts are far lower than those seen in a French press or Turkish coffee (2e10 mg per cup).