Some coffee brewing techniques raise the serum concentration of total and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol in humans, whereas others do not. The responsible factors are the diterpene lipids cafestol and kahweol, which make up about 1% (wt:wt) of coffee beans. Diterpenes are extracted by hot water but are retained by a paper filter. This explains why filtered coffee does not affect cholesterol, whereas Scandinavian “boiled,” cafetiere, and Turkish coffees do. We describe the identification of the cholesterol-raising factors, their effects on blood levels of lipids and liver function enzymes, and their impact on public health, based on papers published up to December 1996.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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