The Dyslipidemic Effect of Coffee Diterpenes
Consumption of unfiltered coffee types leads to an increase in serum lipid levels, in particular low density lipoproteins, which is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The coffee diterpenes cafestol and kahweol, which are present in coffee oil, have been identified as the factors responsible for the cholesterol-raising effect of unfiltered coffee. A number of studies have been performed that aimed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this cholesterol-raising effect. These provided evidence that cafestol and kahweol target lipid and bile acid metabolism in the liver. The exact mechanism, however, remains to be established. Although coffee consumption in general is not associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, consumption of unfiltered coffee may not be advisable for individuals with increased cholesterol levels.