Saturday, May 15, 2010

Coffee increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease, still a controversy

Controversy Coffee increased risk of Cardiovascular DiseaseCoffee is widely consumed beverages in the world, especially in Indonesia. Coronary heart disease is now also one cause of death in the world. Two of these are often linked. Many people said coffee causes heart disease. This has become very interesting questions to be investigated. Some research on the relationship of coffee and heart disease was mostly done since several decades ago. However, until now, the effect of coffee on heart health is still a controversy.

Number of substances contained in coffee drinks has caused both beneficial effects and adverse effects on human health. Some adverse effects caused by the presence of diterpene and caffeine contained in coffee. Coffee contains two kinds of diterpene, they are cafestol and kahweol. In vitro studies showed that these two substances increased serum cholesterol. Normally, when cells need cholesterol, LDL receptor would be activated to bind to the LDL then brought cholesterol from outside the cell to enter the cell. However, diterpene inhibit the activity of LDL receptors so that the LDL accumulate in the circulation and cause an increase in serum cholesterol. Increased serum cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, risk factor for coronary heart disease. Besides diterpenes, substances that cause adverse effects is caffeine. Although several studies have shown that caffeine has beneficial effects for health, Animal studies indicate that caffeine may damage and disrupt kidney function. Several epidemiology studies also show that caffeine could increase blood pressure. Caffeine increased levels of several stress hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. The increase of stress hormones causes increased blood pressure.

On the other hand, coffee also contains many polyphenols which are antioxidants. Polyphenols which is widely available in coffee is chlorogenic acid (CGA). Several studies have shown that CGA has antioxidants activities that can prevent LDL oxidation, protects endothelial, reducing free radicals, and lower glucose levels. Possibly, the antioxidant activity offset adverse effects of some substances contained in coffee. This can be seen from several studies showing an increase in blood pressure due to cola consumption but no association between coffee consumption and blood pressure. Coffee and cola, both contain caffeine. However, cola does not contain polyphenols, while coffee contains many polyphenols.

Some research suggests that the effect of coffee on the heart varies greatly among individuals. It is caused by genetic factors. This resulted in differences in metabolism of the substances contained in coffee. Different effects could also be caused due to differences in ways of processing coffee. Different coffee processing causes differences in yields of substances contained in coffee.

Some meta-analysis showed that there was no relationship between coffee consumption and increased risk of coronary heart disease. Several cohort studies even show that coffee consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease in women. No studies that answer why the effect of coffee on the heart is also influenced by gender. Possibly, these different effects caused by different habits between men and women. Generally, a person who is very fond of drinking coffee also has a habit of smoking. Smoking habits are more often committed by men than by women. In fact, smoking is usually associated with several unhealthy lifestyles such as lack of exercise and physical activity. So, we must maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease.


Bonita JS, Mandarano M, Shuta D, Vinson J. Coffee and cardiovascularnext term disease: In vitro, cellular, animal, and human studies. Nutritional Pharmacology 2007; 55(3): 187-198

Wu J, Ho SC, Zhou C, Ling W, Chen W, Wang C, Chen Y. Coffee consumption and risk of coronary heart diseases: A meta-analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies. International Journal of Cardiology 2009; 137: 216-225.


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