Unfiltered Coffee Can Raise Cholesterol

Published Online: Wednesday, March 1, 2006
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Further research on the effects of coffee on cholesterol levels has shown differences between filtered and unfiltered coffees. This is good news for the majority of Americans, who drink filtered coffee and may have been concerned over reports that all coffees can raise their cholesterol levels. Researchers say that filters seem to remove most of the cholesterol-boosting substances found in coffee.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md, reviewed more than a dozen studies that looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and cholesterol levels. They found that drinking an average of 6 cups a day was connected to an increase in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels. Nearly all of these rises, however, were linked to unfiltered coffees.

Although most increases in cholesterol due to coffee intake had been blamed on caffeine, researchers now find no connection between the stimulant and the higher levels. Instead, they found that oils in the coffee, called terpenes, are possibly the culprit. These oils are usually removed by coffee filters. Researchers suggest that regular drinkers of unfiltered coffees should have their cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis.

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