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Joe Blowe

Cafestol: Oh, now it's good for us?

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There have been many articles/studies published over the years regarding cafestol, a compound found in coffee, and its ability to raise cholesterol:


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614162223.htm

Quote

In fact, cafestol is the most potent dietary cholesterol-elevating agent known, said Dr. David Moore, professor of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, and Dr. Marie-Louise Ricketts, a postdoctoral student and first author of the report. Cafetiere, or French press coffee, boiled Scandinavian brew and espresso contain the highest levels of the compound, which is removed by paper filters used in most other brewing processes.

 

 

(I'm sure you know which direction this is headed...)

 

In a recently released study by Aarhus University Hospital, cafestol has been linked to a reduction in fasting glucose in mice. Naturally, this now means "cafestol may contribute to the reduced risk of developing T2D in coffee consumers and has a potential role as an antidiabetic drug." As of yesterday, the media is running wild with this latest breakthrough.

 

I never went out of my way to avoid coffee that wasn't filtered through paper. But, I guess it was in the back of mind that the *occasional* extra pot of French press *might* be having some effect on my blood chemistry. As with all things, moderation is always the key.

 

How about you? Will you break out the old percolator based on this news? Brew up a nice pot of cowboy coffee?

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Forty-seven mice divided into three groups isn't a very big sample size. I am also suspicious that many studies nowadays are funded by industry -like all of those studies of tobacco done by the tobacco industry which kept showing inconclusive results.


Edited by Lisa Shock forgot a letter (log)

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Studies this small only have value as entry points for larger studies. The actual results aren't statistically significant enough to base any decision on, they just suggest that a larger study may be worth undertaking.

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As of yesterday, the media is running wild with this latest breakthrough.

 

There's the problem in a nutshell. With studies like this one now routinely triggering press releases, the popular media has not a clue how to put the results in context, how to make sense of a small sample size, and how to intelligently differentiate three categories of studies: correlation vs causation, in vitro vs in vivo, and animal vs human. As Chris mentioned, single studies are, for the most part, just small pieces in a very large puzzle. Sometimes they can trigger other studies; sometimes they add a bit to a bigger body of knowledge, but precious few are paradigm-changing.

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