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The first global genetic study, conducted by researchers at
the Australian Center for Precision Health
University of South Australia
(UniSA), has shown that excessive coffee consumption (six or more cups a day) in the long term
can raise the amount of lipids in the blood, which significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
According to research, published in the journal
, this correlation is both positive and dose-dependent, meaning that the more coffee you drink, the greater your risk of CVD.
"There is certainly a lot of scientific debate about the pros and cons of coffee, but while it may seem like we are going down an ancient path, it is essential to fully understand how one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world can affect our health," recalls the researcher at UniSA
The expert highlights that in her study they analyzed "the genetic and phenotypic associations between coffee intake and the profiles of plasma lipids, cholesterols and fats in the blood, finding causal evidence that habitual coffee consumption contributes to a profile of adverse lipids that may increase the risk of heart disease. "
"High blood lipid levels are a known risk factor for heart disease, and interestingly, since coffee beans contain cafestol, a very potent cholesterol-raising compound, it was valuable to examine them together," he explains.
Cafestol is mainly present in unfiltered beverages such as French, Turkish, and Greek press coffees, but it is also present in
, which is the basis for most barista-made coffees, including
There is little or no cafestol in filtered and instant coffee, so in terms of lipid effects, those are good coffee options, "he adds.
The researcher highlights that the implications of this study are potentially wide-ranging.
"In my opinion, it is especially important for people with high cholesterol or who are concerned about heart disease to choose carefully what type of coffee they drink."
"It is important to note that the coffee-lipid association depends on the dose," he continues, "the more you drink unfiltered coffee, the more lipids increase in your blood, which puts you at greater risk of heart disease."
It is estimated that
3 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day in the world
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming 17.9 million lives each year.
The study used data from 362,571
, aged 37 to 73, using a triangulation of phenotypic and genetic approaches to perform comprehensive analyzes.
While the health impacts of coffee may still be debated, Professor Hyppönen cautions that
it is always wise to choose filtered coffee when possible
and beware of excesses, especially when it comes to a stimulant like coffee.
"Since coffee is close to the heart of many people, it will always be a controversial topic," he acknowledges. "Our research shows that too much coffee is clearly not good for cardiovascular health, which certainly has implications for those already in risk .. Of course, unless we know otherwise, all in moderation, when it comes to health, this is good advice. "
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