Coffee and Lowering Cholesterol



It's another $64M question: Is Coffee Good or Bad for Our Cholesterol Levels?

The Claims: Some say that coffee is bad for our health because it can supposedly lead to heart diseases and hypertension. Coffee, for them, is an unhealthy addiction. Others however are adamant about the health benefits of coffee. For them, coffee saves the day because it supposedly lowers cholesterol levels in our bodies.

The Truth about Coffee and Cholesterol

Never mind about the bad stuff regarding coffee. Enough has been written about it; right now, lets concentrate on the controversial link between coffee and cholesterol.

Why We Should Worry About Our Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol levels have a significant impact on our health, and more specifically, on our hearts. High cholesterol levels make us increasing vulnerable to having a heart attack. And none of us, surely, would want to suffer a heart attack because it can often lead to life threatening consequences.

When the cholesterol level in our body becomes higher than normal, it slows down the flow of blood to and from our heart. Worse, it can even completely block blood flow which is of course disastrous for us. Blood contains oxygen and when our heart doesnt receive enough of this, we experience chest spasms and find it difficult to breathe. If the blockage continues, we get a heart attack. If the attack is not given medical attention, we die.

The Coffee Competition

Filtered vs. Unfiltered

In 2001, Dr. Michael J. Klag and his colleagues reviewed numerous studies that tackled the link between coffee drinking and increasing cholesterol levels. Theyve discovered that individuals who consumer approximately six cups of coffee per day are more prone to having higher cholesterol levels and LDL the evil twin of the two types of cholesterols. Almost all the studies have pinpointed the blame to unfiltered coffee.

Klag claimed that the increase of cholesterol levels is primarily due to terpenes, an element found in coffee. The amount of terpenes however is significantly reduced in unfiltered coffee.

Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated

One can choose to look at this with another perspective. Which of the two caffeinated and decaffeinated has an undesirable effect on cholesterol levels?

A new study presented in the 2005 American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions has revealed that people drinking decaffeinated coffee are characterized by the following: Increase in Fatty Acids Fatty acids can increase the production of LDL Increase in ApoB This is the only protein that is linked with LDL Increase in NEFA Another element that can also indirectly lead to higher production of LDL

Further studies however have produced mixed results as regard to people drinking decaffeinated coffee.

HDL2 the better twin of the two types of cholesterols of overweight decaffeinated coffee drinkers has increased while the opposite occurs for drinkers who have normal weights.

THE VERDICT

When it comes to coffee and cholesterol, people seem to be asking the wrong questions: to drink or not to drink, which is the good coffee for allAs the studies have shown, different types of individuals have different responses towards different types of coffee. What may be good for you and lower your cholesterol level may have the opposite effect for somebody else.

Secondly, the increase and decrease of cholesterol levels can not be solely attributed to the type of coffee one drinks; cholesterol levels, rather, are affected by the kind of lifestyle we have: what type of food we eat, whether we smoke or not, and so forth.

Lastly, theres nothing wrong about drinking coffee, filtered or unfiltered, caffeinated or decaffeinated, just as long as we do it in moderation!






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