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Decafe Coffee May Raise Harmful Cholesteral Levels


Richard Kilgore
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Lee Bowman writes for the Scripps Howard News Services:

- Decaf, but not caffeinated, coffee may cause an increase in harmful low-density cholesterol, but may also be beneficial to some overweight people, according to a new study.

The study was lead by Dr. Robert Superko at the Fuqua Heart Center in Atlanta.

Superko said that while he doubts there's a health threat from coffee for most people drinking a couple of cups of any kind of coffee a day, the study did detect a difference in how a steady decaf diet affected people who are overweight. Those with a body mass index of more than 25 increased their HDL cholesterol (the good type) by about 50 percent during the study, while decaf drinkers who were not considered overweight saw HDL levels drop by about 30 percent.

Interestingly, part of the complex picture that is only alluded to at the end of the article is different beans for decafe vs cafeinated. So are the effects due to the different process used on the different beans, or on some component in the beans? Or something about how the body responds when average weight vs overweight? Or all of the above.

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So are the effects due to the different process used on the different beans, or on some component in the beans? Or something about how the body responds when average weight vs overweight? Or all of the above.

Or none of the above. The only thing as certain as death and taxes is the fact that if you don't like the results of the latest study on the health benefits/detriments of coffee - wait a few months and a contradictory study will come along :laugh:

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One of the articles I read included the fact that they used arabica beans for the regular coffee and robusta for the decaf, so how can this be a valid study?

They said robusta has more fatty acids that may raise cholesterol, so this tells me that perhaps if anything, I should give up robusta beans...

-Kelly

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According to this paper there is a link between LDL receptor function and cyclic AMP levels.

This link details the links between caffeine and cyclic AMP levels.

So, it may be the amount of caffeine that helps mediate how much LDL these people have in their blood stream.

The question I am curious about is about how many of the people in each group were usually drinking caffeinated, decaffeinated, and no coffee before the study was done.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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There are many, many differences between arabica and robusta beans - caffiene level being only one of them. In this country few people if any ever drink high quality robusta unless by chance it's a small component (10% - 15%) in an espress blend they favor.

But the really low grade robusta from Vietnam and Brazil makes up most or nearly all of waht goes into typical supermarket coffee (Folger's, Maxwell House et al). And despite the growth in the specialty coffee industry about 85% of the coffee consumed in the US is the dreck being marketed by the big four food conglomerates).

I agree that these studies need to be more specific in order for anyone to begin considering the results as having any validity.

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