3

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French Press Coffee and Cholesterol

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 20, 2012 at 1:50 AM

I put up a post several days ago asking for thoughts on my (maybe) high cholesterol. I've since seen chatter regarding raised elevations of cholesterol in people using a French press to make their coffee which is a device I've used everyday for a couple of years. FYI: I only have a 12 once coffee in the morning and will only rarely have any more during the day. Should I start paper filtering? I recently discovered Bulletproof coffee and I absolutely love it. I add about 2 tsp of 100% cocoa powder and 2 quick shakes of cinnamon. Fantastic.

I'm re-posting my numbers because I forgot to include my trigs last time.

Total Cholesterol 243 HDL 71 LDL 159 Trigs 66

Thanks.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 21, 2012
at 01:55 AM

Nice! I'll definitely be trying this!!!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 20, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Nooo save the French press!

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on February 20, 2012
at 07:57 PM

+1 on cholesterol not being a meaningful #

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Nice response! I was starting to worry that I would have to relegate my French press to the back of the pantry!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 20, 2012
at 03:40 PM

@Knarf: cold pressed coffee is when you grind the coffee beans coarse, put them in cold water overnight, then run the result through a filter. Tastes amazingly good in the summer. You can also buy gadgets to make it, but it's easy enough to rig up a wide mouthed jar with a gold filter and slowly pour the mix over it to get the grounds out.

Dcf355a2a13a1cdac6b8932a145fbd9d

(278)

on February 20, 2012
at 02:10 PM

I'll second that. Cold French press? Doesn't seem that the oil factor would be different except the heat, I suppose, would extract more oil.

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:49 AM

What's cold pressed coffee?

  • Dcf355a2a13a1cdac6b8932a145fbd9d

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8 Answers

6
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 20, 2012
at 02:55 AM

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2796.2000.00728.x/full

http://www.ajcn.org/content/71/2/480.short

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.nutr.17.1.305?journalCode=nutr

"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"

http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/H08-120

"High consumption of unfiltered types of coffee, such as French press and boiled coffee, has been shown to increase low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations"

5
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 20, 2012
at 03:23 PM

Coffee beans contain two diterpene compounds called cafestol and kahweol. These are fat-soluble and have a structure that is similar to cholesterol. These are found in boiled, French press and espresso coffee. The little droplets of fats can often be seen on the surface of strong black coffee contain these diterpenes. Filter paper traps most of the cafestol and kahweol so that there is very little in filter coffee.

french-press-coffee-and-cholesterol Cafestol

Cafestol and kahweol do raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. In one study drinking 5 to 6 strong cups of coffee per day raised LDL cholesterol levels by 9-14% after 24 weeks.1 There is evidence now that due to its similar structure the cafestol binds to a bile acid receptor in the gut and this signal disrupts normal cholesterol regulation in the liver.2

However, to put this into perspective the amount of coffee used in this study was very high and I think it would be unlikely for you to see much measurable difference in your cholesterol levels from one mug of French press coffee a day.

It is also worth noting that cafestol and kahweol may have beneficial effects. Cafestol and kahweol may reduce oxidative stress and DNA damage.3 They may have protective effects against the development of cancer.4 They may also act to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activation of NF-kappaB.5

I don't think your cholesterol levels has much to do with coffee and in moderation your unfiltered coffee may even have some benefits.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:40 PM

Nice response! I was starting to worry that I would have to relegate my French press to the back of the pantry!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 20, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Nooo save the French press!

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on February 20, 2012
at 02:48 AM

Assuming that you believe cholesterol is a meaningful number (I don't), I can't see any mechanism where French press would contribute to any change in serum cholesterol over other brewing methods. The paper filter and metal screen only do one thing: filter the physical grounds from showing up in your cup. There's nothing chemically different.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on February 20, 2012
at 07:57 PM

+1 on cholesterol not being a meaningful #

0
964e30ee6edcd9eda01ba3465bf87f09

on December 31, 2012
at 01:44 AM

My LDL cholesterol jumped 50 points to 190 after two years drinking French press coffee, 2 mugs a day. When I discovered the alleged link, I switched to paper filter coffee and lost all 50 points in three months, a period so short the doctors predicted I would exhibit little change. Per Occam's razor, I will interpret this as evidence that a mug of French press coffee a day will raise LDL 1 point per month, accumulating essentially endlessly.

Of course, I have no idea what impact that might end up having on my heart, but French press coffee is not worth the risk, though it does taste better. My personal test results are also blurred by variations in diet and exercise. Bottom line: the 1 point/month rise appears to be the maximum affect of 2mugs / day of French press coffee.

This issue deserves more careful study. For now, if you do not use paper filters, be sure to get fasting cholesterol blood tests once a year or so, and draw your own conclusions.

0
0fcee9a7dfc7f62bf0bd1a9d7e19feef

on February 20, 2012
at 05:17 AM

I had some of the same concerns about 6 years ago- long before I had heard of Paleo. I switched to cold pressed coffee, which is much less acidic, and have never looked back. And my cholesterol went down.

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:49 AM

What's cold pressed coffee?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 20, 2012
at 03:40 PM

@Knarf: cold pressed coffee is when you grind the coffee beans coarse, put them in cold water overnight, then run the result through a filter. Tastes amazingly good in the summer. You can also buy gadgets to make it, but it's easy enough to rig up a wide mouthed jar with a gold filter and slowly pour the mix over it to get the grounds out.

Dcf355a2a13a1cdac6b8932a145fbd9d

(278)

on February 20, 2012
at 02:10 PM

I'll second that. Cold French press? Doesn't seem that the oil factor would be different except the heat, I suppose, would extract more oil.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 21, 2012
at 01:55 AM

Nice! I'll definitely be trying this!!!

0
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on February 20, 2012
at 04:00 AM

Obviously there is evidence to the contrary as indicated by previous posts, but I drink french press coffee almost exclusively and my cholesterol numbers are pretty great. Even better, my cholesterol numbers appear to have improved slightly since starting the french press coffee (however there are a lot of factors that could impact this). My cholesterol prior to french press was 190 total with 80 HDL and then a year later after regularly consuming french press coffee it was 199 total with 98 HDL.

0
E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

on February 20, 2012
at 03:46 AM

I asked Chris Masterjohn (http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/) and Robb Wolf this question. Robb responded the science is sound but doesn't feel it's a health risk. Chris basically said something similar but didn't have a lot of time to research it at the moment. I am no researcher but after reading a bunch of things it is my understanding that this is true as the 2 lipids cafestol and kahweol mimic cholesterol in a standard test. So it raise the serum cholesterol. LDL is raised because its calculated. The calculation assumes most of everything that is left after HDL is subtracted is LDL (Which supposedly isn't true especially on a low carb diet.)

Just my thoughts, Matt

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on February 20, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Enjoy your coffee, those high numbers aren't casued by the coffee or method of brewing. Some believe that a normal number is about 250. As Dr Davis says, it is just a marker and not a very good one at that for heart disease.

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