Does Coffee Affect Cholesterol?

Does Coffee Affect Cholesterol?
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New data suggests even paper filtered coffee may raise LDL bad cholesterol.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In a video I did a decade ago—you can tell how ancient it is by the silly graphics—I explained that the “cholesterol-raising factor” in coffee “does not pass [through] a [drip coffee] paper filter.” Give people French press coffee, which is filtered, but without paper, and their cholesterol swells up over time, starting within just two weeks. But switch them to paper-filtered coffee, and their cholesterol comes right back down. Same amount of coffee, but just prepared differently.

“The cholesterol-raising factor from coffee beans” has since been identified: it’s the fatty substances in the oil within coffee beans. One reason it took us so long to figure that out is that it didn’t raise cholesterol in rats, or hamsters, or even monkeys—but it did in human beings. But, it apparently gets stuck in the paper filter. “This explains why filtered coffee doesn’t affect cholesterol, whereas…’boiled’, [French press], and Turkish coffees do.” Espresso, as well, which has 20 times more of the cholesterol-raising substance cafestol than paper-filtered drip coffee, with Turkish and boiled coffee being the worst—though instant and percolator coffee are pretty low, even without the paper filter.

Note: if you make drip coffee with one of those metal mesh filters without the paper, it would presumably be just as bad as like the French press.

So, the studies in general “appeared to consistently find” that it was this fatty component that was then filtered out by paper. But, “a small number of studies suggested that filtered coffee may also increase cholesterol levels, and began to cast some doubt on what appeared to be a fairly clear picture.” So, yeah, “the cholesterol-raising effects brought about by the consumption of filtered coffee may not be as strong as that of the boiled coffee.” But, maybe we shouldn’t “discard the possibility that filtered coffee may also play a small but important role” in raising cholesterol.

I knew about this study, where three cups a day of filtered coffee raised total cholesterol, but the rise in LDL “bad” cholesterol was not statistically significant. Same with this study, where stopping filtered coffee reduced total cholesterol, suggesting perhaps only partial removal. But, no one had ever just measured the levels of the cholesterol-raising compounds in the paper filters…until, now.

The results showed that most of the cholesterol-raising cafestol was retained by the coffee grounds, rather than getting stuck in the filter itself. In other words, “the principal function of the paper filter” is to not necessarily block the compound itself, but to block any fine particles that are carrying the compound. Like, when you make French press coffee, there’s that fine mesh screen, but you still notice a little sludge at the bottom of the cup; that’s the tiny particles that pass through and can carry some of the risk. But, a little cafestol does get through the filter.

So, yeah, you can cut out more than 90% by switching from French press, or one of the metal mesh filters, by using a paper filter. If you use coffee that starts out with a high level of the cafestol compound, you’re still clearing out about 95% with the paper, but there may be enough left to still bump up your LDL. But, you don’t know until you…put it to the test.

They started out with a high cafestol coffee. After a month of drinking two cups a day, their LDL cholesterol went up, significantly, even though it was paper-filtered. So, if you have high cholesterol despite eating a healthy diet, you may want to try cutting out coffee, and getting retested.

Or, you can try switching to a lower-cafestol coffee. There’s all sorts of variables, such as roasting degree or grind size that may affect cafestol levels. One can imagine a smaller particle size would allow for greater extraction. Roasting appears to destroy some of it. So, a really dark roast should have less. But, there’s not much difference between just light and medium roast. Indeed, in this study, there was no significant difference between the rise in cholesterol after a medium light roast and a medium roast. They both raised bad cholesterol.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Karl Fredrickson via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In a video I did a decade ago—you can tell how ancient it is by the silly graphics—I explained that the “cholesterol-raising factor” in coffee “does not pass [through] a [drip coffee] paper filter.” Give people French press coffee, which is filtered, but without paper, and their cholesterol swells up over time, starting within just two weeks. But switch them to paper-filtered coffee, and their cholesterol comes right back down. Same amount of coffee, but just prepared differently.

“The cholesterol-raising factor from coffee beans” has since been identified: it’s the fatty substances in the oil within coffee beans. One reason it took us so long to figure that out is that it didn’t raise cholesterol in rats, or hamsters, or even monkeys—but it did in human beings. But, it apparently gets stuck in the paper filter. “This explains why filtered coffee doesn’t affect cholesterol, whereas…’boiled’, [French press], and Turkish coffees do.” Espresso, as well, which has 20 times more of the cholesterol-raising substance cafestol than paper-filtered drip coffee, with Turkish and boiled coffee being the worst—though instant and percolator coffee are pretty low, even without the paper filter.

Note: if you make drip coffee with one of those metal mesh filters without the paper, it would presumably be just as bad as like the French press.

So, the studies in general “appeared to consistently find” that it was this fatty component that was then filtered out by paper. But, “a small number of studies suggested that filtered coffee may also increase cholesterol levels, and began to cast some doubt on what appeared to be a fairly clear picture.” So, yeah, “the cholesterol-raising effects brought about by the consumption of filtered coffee may not be as strong as that of the boiled coffee.” But, maybe we shouldn’t “discard the possibility that filtered coffee may also play a small but important role” in raising cholesterol.

I knew about this study, where three cups a day of filtered coffee raised total cholesterol, but the rise in LDL “bad” cholesterol was not statistically significant. Same with this study, where stopping filtered coffee reduced total cholesterol, suggesting perhaps only partial removal. But, no one had ever just measured the levels of the cholesterol-raising compounds in the paper filters…until, now.

The results showed that most of the cholesterol-raising cafestol was retained by the coffee grounds, rather than getting stuck in the filter itself. In other words, “the principal function of the paper filter” is to not necessarily block the compound itself, but to block any fine particles that are carrying the compound. Like, when you make French press coffee, there’s that fine mesh screen, but you still notice a little sludge at the bottom of the cup; that’s the tiny particles that pass through and can carry some of the risk. But, a little cafestol does get through the filter.

So, yeah, you can cut out more than 90% by switching from French press, or one of the metal mesh filters, by using a paper filter. If you use coffee that starts out with a high level of the cafestol compound, you’re still clearing out about 95% with the paper, but there may be enough left to still bump up your LDL. But, you don’t know until you…put it to the test.

They started out with a high cafestol coffee. After a month of drinking two cups a day, their LDL cholesterol went up, significantly, even though it was paper-filtered. So, if you have high cholesterol despite eating a healthy diet, you may want to try cutting out coffee, and getting retested.

Or, you can try switching to a lower-cafestol coffee. There’s all sorts of variables, such as roasting degree or grind size that may affect cafestol levels. One can imagine a smaller particle size would allow for greater extraction. Roasting appears to destroy some of it. So, a really dark roast should have less. But, there’s not much difference between just light and medium roast. Indeed, in this study, there was no significant difference between the rise in cholesterol after a medium light roast and a medium roast. They both raised bad cholesterol.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Karl Fredrickson via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

In my chapters in How Not to Die on liver disease, depression, and Parkinson’s, I discussed the benefits of coffee for the liver, mind, and brain. Coffee drinkers do seem to live longer, and have lower cancer rates overall, but coffee may worsen acid reflux disease, bone loss, glaucoma, and urinary incontinence.

Bottom line, I don’t recommend drinking coffee, but mainly that’s just because every cup of coffee is a lost opportunity to drink something even healthier—a cup of green tea, which wouldn’t have the adverse cholesterol consequences.

Here are some more coffee vids:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

190 responses to “Does Coffee Affect Cholesterol?

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  1. Tune in again next week for another exciting episode of “Coffee is Good For Us: Wait…No It’s NOT Good For Us.”

    Any difference between decaf and regular coffee? Whether it was loaded with various goodies, or whether it was taken black, with nothing added at all? That’s the way I drink my two cups a day of fairly weak 1/2-caff coffee? Black coffee rules!

    (It’s pretty obvious these studies were not funded by Big Coffee.)

    1. YR,

      The other coffee videos, which he linked talk about decaf versus caffeine.

      The caffeine….. helps… doesn’t help…. helps…. your endothelials…..

      Though I think the conclusion was drink tea, instead of coffee and without milk or soy.

      1. I think some of the caffeine logic loops weren’t solved.

        It is like decaf helps versus caffeine hurts, but it turns out that caffeine helps, but something in caffeinated coffee other than caffeine hurts, I don’t remember if he gave what it was. So caffeine helps, if you use paper filters and trap whatever doesn’t help, but milk makes caffeine not help anymore.

        So drink tea black.

        Is that the logic?

        1. Perhaps based on this data we can think the caffeine helps in small doses, but never helps when paired with bad fat from milk, added oil, and sugars. So oily coffee is almost as bad as adding extra oil to it. Hence we filter it with paper trap more of the oils it’s less harmful. So is it that the coffee is passing on LDL oil, or substances that affect LDL

        1. You bring up a great point that most foods (and drinks) are on a spectrum between “good” and “bad”. It’s important to ask of a study how significant the finding, for exactly what endpoint, and ask if there conflicting data. For coffee, consumption is associated with certain good outcomes (like lower Parkinson’s Disease, lower risk of certain cancers, apparent increased longevity). The bad side includes worsened reflux, bone loss, and apparent risk of glaucoma. I think the conclusion from this particular study is that it had been thought that paper-filtered coffee removed the mildly LDL-raising compound in coffee, and it does, but not entirely. It’s not a big effect. Decide for yourself! -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  2. Corrêa, T. A., Rogero, M. M., Mioto, B. M., Tarasoutchi, D., Tuda, V. L., César, L. A., & Torres, E. A. (2013). filtered coffee increases cholesterol and inflammation biomarkers independent of roasting degree: A clinical trial. Nutrition, 29(7-8), 977-981.

    Conclusion: Moderate paper-filtered coffee consumption may have an undesirable effect on plasma
    cholesterol and inflammation biomarkers in healthy individuals regardless of its antioxidant content.

    It is interesting to note that 76% of the women in the study (70%) were overweight. In total the participants had a BMI of 27.
    I guess it would have been reasonable to formulate the conlusion as “filtered coffee increases inflammation and cholesterol in healthy overweight individuals” instead.

    For those interested in my personal case.

    I eat a whole food plant based diet, conform with the daily dozen and my LDL is 66 mg/dL with total 124 mg/dL.
    I am getting additional polyphenols from this diet which don’t originate from the coffee,I have been consuming around 4 cups of (black) coffee a day. The coffee in the morning is regular filtered coffee and the others are decaffinated.

    But yes, I guess it’s safe to say that there’s a good anti-cancer effect from te drink (unless you drink it very hot), but that there is an inherent negative effect for cardiovascular health. A rise of 12% in LDL is not little. So anyway, does this changes coffee to a yellow light food?

    1. Netgogate,

      I am not sure what Dr. Greger does with it, but I put it with a flashing yellow light.

      Maybe it is more like a walk signal and you have to keep track of your cholesterol and your endothelial function and the walk signal can flash “Coffee” and “Don’t Coffee” and some people will run across after it starts blinking.

    2. Well if there’s a negative cardio effect, why does it not show up in studies looking at endpoints like CVD, neurodegenerative illness, etc?

      Cf. this 2018 study.
      Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 May – Jun;61(1):38-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2018.02.002. Epub 2018 Feb 21.
      Coffee for Cardioprotection and Longevity.

      Abstract
      Coffee, a complex brew containing hundreds of biologically active compounds, exerts potent effects on long-term human health. Recently, a plethora of studies have been published focusing on health outcomes associated with coffee intake. An inverse association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality has been seen consistently in large prospective studies. Habitual coffee consumption is also associated with lower risks for cardiovascular (CV) death and a variety of adverse CV outcomes, including coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (HF), and stroke; coffee’s effects on arrhythmias and hypertension are neutral. Coffee consumption is associated with improvements in some CV risk factors, including type 2 diabetes (T2D), depression, and obesity. Chronic coffee consumption also appears to protect against some neurodegenerative diseases, and is associated with improved asthma control, and lower risks for liver disease and cancer. Habitual intake of 3 to 4 cups of coffee appears to be safe and is associated with the most robust beneficial effects. However, most of the studies regarding coffee’s health effects are based on observational data, with very few randomized controlled trials. Furthermore, the possible benefits of coffee drinking must be weighed against potential risks, which are generally due to its high caffeine content, including anxiety, insomnia, headaches, tremulousness, and palpitations. Coffee may also increase risk of fracture in women, and when consumed in pregnancy coffee increases risk for low birth weight and preterm labor.

      1. Perhaps because these are results primarily from observational studies.

        It is possible that the observed benefits are due to what people did not drink. That is, what did the people who were not drinking coffee, drink? Was it soft drinks, beer or whatever? All those studies may show is simply that coffee is less unhealthy than many alternative beverages. We don’t know for sure.

        Scientists are similarly unsure whether the reported benefits of fish consumption are due to fish consumption providing actual benefits or are simply due to the fact tat that they displace even more unhealthy foods (eg grass-fed beef, refined carbs, dairy etc) from the diet

  3. I eat a whole food vegan diet and have the low cholesterol numbers to show for it. Apparently the coffee by itself is not enough to raise my levels of LDL despite the fact that I drink 4 or 5 cups a day. I would imagine most people watching NutritionFacts.Org also have good cholesterol numbers. If I was eating an omnivorous diet with lots of dietary cholesterol the coffee would be the least of my worries. In either case I wouldn’t worry about it. If my LDL starts creeping up I will consider cutting back though so it’s good to know.

      1. The article you cited doesn’t address your claim – “There are people who eat everything right and still have high cholesterol” – it just explains what cholesterol is.

        1. Is you do not know how to read multiple websites on the topic (or ever talked to an actual physician on the topic) your own ignorance is upon yourself.

      2. I think the study does not have the entire picture. It definitely doesn’t explain how people lower their cholesterol by over 20% through diet. My own experience is a lowering from 230 to 145 when switching to WFPB. Such lowering through diet would be impossible if diet was only responsible for 20%. However, what we eat may have an effect on how much our bodies produce. There are cases where eating an large amounts of fruit (perhaps carbs) causes increased cholesterol. My WFPB partner is one of them, and has found repeated correlation between fruit and elevated cholesterol, especially triglycerides.

      3. Not sure about that Jim. Aside from the fact that the article, as Billy mentioned, does not seem to address your claim, and on a test case of N=1 (myself) what I can tell you is that at least for 15 years (prior to changing to a WFPB diet 1.5 years ago) my total cholesterol hovered at around 200 (185-210). “Naturally”, doctors in the 90s and 2000s told me this was “genetic”. A few months after changing diet my cholesterol was down to 140 and a few weeks ago I again got tested and it is seems to be down to 113 mg/dl. This can hardly be ascribed to a “20%” effect of the cholesterol in the diet to my plasma cholesterol levels. Furthermore, while it is true that the basal level of cholesterol production by our own bodies (mainly the liver) vary from person to person and a % of the population could still have high cholesterol (albeit lower than their default on a diet rich in animal products) I have not seen -any- reliable -actual- study showing that cholesterol in our diets has only a relatively small effect on our blood cholesterol levels.

        1. That YouTube video from Julot had no useful information. First of all they weren’t green smoothies they were fruit smoothies with a little lettuce, not a Dr. Goldner a smoothie with 25% fruit. Cholesterol is normally tested fasting, we don’t know what her cholesterol was before she had the smoothie so how do we know the smoothie raised it? If the second test had been a day later, instead of a year later, that may have been interesting.

          A deficiency in iodine can also affect cholesterol levels. Iodine deficiency is more common in vegans than in the general population.
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/pregnant-vegans-at-risk-for-iodine-deficiency-2/

      1. Some peoples have genetic abnormalities which cause high cholesterol despite diet, but it is relatively rare. For almost everyone it is all about diet.

      2. Yes Blair, it is possible and not uncommon for cholesterol levels to rise in post menopausal women as estrogen levels decline. And stubbornly remain high even with no-oil aka Esselstyn style wfpb eating. Dr Greger has not addressed this. Coffee makes zero difference in test results (after 1 years’s abstinence tried several times). All of this interesting in that it seems on average women outlive men, so perhaps it is true that cholesterol levels are less significant in women. (in the context of wfpb eating and active lifestyle)

        http://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2643435/coffee-drinking-mortality-10-european-countries-multinational-cohort-study

        1. * The link above was posted just for interest regarding the positive effects of coffee drinking. In women, coffee consumption was associated with lower glycated hemoglobin, lipoprotein (a), and C reactive protein levels which, imo, would trump any tiny increase in cholesterol levels.

          1. Great info, Barb. . .thanks!! And I totally agree with you. I also feel that cholesterol isn’t bad in and of itself since it’s necessary in all cells in our bodies, and the fact that people who have “normal” cholesterol levels have heart attacks makes me wonder why cholesterol is even an issue at all. All this, plus the fact that my grandma had off-the-charts cholesterol levels, and at age 87 had the carotid artery check which came back “clear as a bell,” and she lived to be 99 without doing anything to reduce her high levels and didn’t die of anything heart related. (She drank several cups of coffee from a filter every day as well.)

            1. You hear these sorts of claims on websites everywhere. As far as I can tell, they are dangerous nonsense originally spread by popular book authors and other individuals selling stuff. They say this because they know many people want to hear that their high cholesterol isn’t a problem and that they can therefore not worry about being overweight, eating fatty foods, smoking and not exercising. Researchers, scientists and doctors all ovr the world though have very different views. In Europe, they report that:

              ‘We assessed whether the association between LDL and ASCVD fulfils the criteria for causality by evaluating the totality of evidence from genetic studies, prospective epidemiologic cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials of LDL-lowering therapies. In clinical studies, plasma LDL burden is usually estimated by determination of plasma LDL cholesterol level (LDL-C). Rare genetic mutations that cause reduced LDL receptor function lead to markedly higher LDL-C and a dose-dependent increase in the risk of ASCVD, whereas rare variants leading to lower LDL-C are associated with a correspondingly lower risk of ASCVD. Separate meta-analyses of over 200 prospective cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials including more than 2 million participants with over 20 million person-years of follow-up and over 150 000 cardiovascular events demonstrate a remarkably consistent dose-dependent log-linear association between the absolute magnitude of exposure of the vasculature to LDL-C and the risk of ASCVD; and this effect appears to increase with increasing duration of exposure to LDL-C. Both the naturally randomized genetic studies and the randomized intervention trials consistently demonstrate that any mechanism of lowering plasma LDL particle concentration should reduce the risk of ASCVD events proportional to the absolute reduction in LDL-C and the cumulative duration of exposure to lower LDL-C, provided that the achieved reduction in LDL-C is concordant with the reduction in LDL particle number and that there are no competing deleterious off-target effects.

              Conclusion
              Consistent evidence from numerous and multiple different types of clinical and genetic studies unequivocally establishes that LDL causes ASCVD.’
              https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109

              ASCVD = atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

            2. Suz – high LDL is a well established risk factor for heart disease. Given the overwhelming science on this, it is not responsible to suggest otherwise.

              Normal cholesterol levels are not relevant. You want optimal levels (under 70 LDL), which if maintained throughout life will reduce heart disease risk to near 0.

              1. Well, I do not deny the importance of attaining the lowest levels of cholesterol possible. I am saying that there are more factors than perfect diet and exercise to consicer. Hormones for instance. The doctors told my mom her cholesterol was too high in the 80’s and slapped her with a prescription for estrogen… which killed her (heart attack). I am very thin, athletic, nonsmoker and have heart disease. My cholesterol is too high. Not a hope in hell of getting LDL below 2.9 .. thats with taking lower dose lipitor.
                The cardiologist told me that that it is of less significance for women than for men. He also told me that I had the lowest inflammation markers he had seen in his entire career and proceeded to ask me how I did it. The arrogance and lack of encouragement and/or helpful info on this site can be really off-putting.

                1. Yes, the lack of encouragement and support for people expressing opinions contrary to what the evidence shows is really irritating, I am sure,

                  1. Barb NEVER take health advice from ANY online message board, especially one like this one where anyone can post. You will get bad advise from fake doctors and ‘professionals’ who aren’t as the real ones do not have all day to spend posting online such as the pretenders who post here.

                    1. Hey Jimbo, excellent reminder for myself and anyone who is looking for some direction for their own research, ty !

                      I basically bringing forward my situation only as an example
                      1. that a wfpb diet is not always the ‘end all, be all” to every problem out there, including high cholesterol. I know many have attained awesome results, and I havent seen evidence of a better diet out there.
                      2. that many post menopausal women experience frustration with elevated cholesterol levels in spite of terrific lifestyle .
                      3. and Dr Greger published the videos below addressing menopausal symptoms, dangers of hormone replacement and the benefits of lifestyle eg diet, exercise, not smoking. I am asking if Dr Greger can address resistant cholesterol levels .. if there is any new research on the horizon on this topic.

                      I will ask my Dr about increasing soy consumption, and perhaps drinking a cup of clover tea a few times per week.

                      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/Soy-Phytoestrogens-for-Menopause-Hot-Flashes/

                      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-did-doctors-not-know-about-the-risks-of-hormone-therapy/

                    2. Who are you talking about Jimbo?

                      I am not aware of anyone here who is a fake doctor or fake professional.

                      But sure don’t take advice from anyone here. That’s not why we are here. We are here learn and to share information. Well.I am anyway. .Nobody should come here to seek medical advice. But i would also argue that nobody should come here to promote claims about health and nutrition that are refuted by the science

                2. Barb, you post an important question: whether there are factors beyond diet, exercise and smoking which prevent some people from attaining optimal cholesterol levels? Other than Familial Hypercholesterol (genetic), I’m not aware what the research says. Would be interesting to explore.

                  I have heard other stories like yours where diet and exercise seems optimal but LDL remains stubbornly high. We clearly need to understand this better, but I would caution against concluding that in those cases high LDL may matter less.

                  I don’t know your specific situation, but if it were me I would question your cardiologist’s statement that LDL somehow matters less for you. If your LDL remains high, and you have active heart disease, I would consider a higher dose statin. Assuming of course you’ve done all you can with diet etc, which it sounds like.

                  1. Thank you KB for your thoughtful reply. I mentioned my situation (in answer to Blair’s question) because it affects so many other women. I was on 40 mg lipitor daily, and was able to bring my LDL down to 2.36 mmol which was the lowest I ever got. The side effects of the drug were horrific. After 2 years being off of it, I am able to take 10 mg 2 times weekly only. I am not able to afford supplements of any kind so food (or extended fasting) is what I have to work with.At any rate, ty again.

            3. You are completely wrong. There is a strong link between LDL levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. People with normal levels of cholesterol don’t get heart attacks: however, the ‘normal’ level is rarely found in people on western diets.

            4. Suz

              You wrote ‘the fact that people who have “normal” cholesterol levels have heart attacks makes me wonder why cholesterol is even an issue at all.’

              This is another claim that is seen all over the internet. However, it is based on a study of people in hospital because of heart attacks.

              The fact is that heart attacks themselves lower cholesterol. Therefore measuring cholesterol after a heart attack gives a quite misleading imression of what their cholesterol level was before the heart attack occurred. Cholesterol levels also decrease in people with unstable angina.
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26233997
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12478816
              https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(16)35525-8/pdf

              Unfortunately, the individuals making these internet claims that many/most people with heart attacks have normal cholesterol never mention that the levels were measured after heart attacks and would have been significantly lower than their pre-heart attack levels. Why do they fail to mention this? It seems deliberately deceptive to me since they clim to have superior knowledge about cholesterol and health.

          2. Barb, I think people need to realize that cholesterol isn’t the only risk factor for heart disease. Diabetes is a big risk factor, so glycated hemoglobin is a big deal. We need to ‘see the forest’, as well as the cholesterol tree.
            I find many women have much higher cholesterol numbers after menopause with no lifestyle change.
            And many find their triglycerides go up a lot with higher carbohydrate intake.

            1. Marilyn Kay, I was doing my daily information cruising on the net this morning and went to the Canadian Heart and Stroke page about cholesterol and statins http://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/treatments/medications/statins Here on that page under ‘what do they do?’ is the statement that high cholesterol “is not the only factor in plaque formation. ” along with the statement that plaque can certainly be formed when cholesterol is at low or normal levels. They do not give a source for these statements, but I can tell you that I have heard the same thing from my previous family doctor, cardiologist and surgeon. My current family doctor and 1 other cardiologist enthusiastically back the power of plants.

          3. Btw, Barb, don’t give up on the Nutrition Facts site. Some people on here are so passionate about the subject they get a bit carried away, and can come across as rude and insensitive. It’s ok to have a different slant on the subject. :-)

            1. Marilyn Kay, thank you for your comments. At one point I did have frequent lipid testing done which gave me the opportunity to see how specific elements of my diet influenced the results. For me, grains or flour products (pasta, cereals, whole grain bread) and other starchy foods raised triglycerides. Not eating at all will lower TC slightly. Anyway, thanks again Marilyn.

        1. This is true of hypercholesterolaemia and, at the other end of the spectrum, hypocholesterolaemia. These are linked to certain specific gene alterations.

          However, these are extremes and it remains possible that many other people not at these extremes still find that their cholesterol levels are affected by their genetic makeup. More than 50 genes can affect people’s LDL levels and as the European Atherosclerosis Society consensus statement on LDL lvels being a causal factor in cardiovascular disease notes:

          “Monogenic and polygenic-mediated lifelong elevations in LDL lead to markedly higher lifetime risk.13–20,27–31,40,43”
          https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109

          This paper discusses some of the issues.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838666/

          I’d suggest that these demonstrate that people with hyercholesterolaemia are not the only ones whose cholesterol levels are increased by their genes. Such people may represent a significant proportion of the population. Perhaps. None of which is to say that dietary and other lifestyle changes cannot lower cholesterol levels in people genetically predisposed to higher levels. Here is a plain English discussion of the issue that may be helpful
          https://www.nhs.uk/news/genetics-and-stem-cells/new-high-cholesterol-genes-discovered/

    1. Following the video

      It has to depend on how you make your coffee and what type of roast you use.

      A lot of people switched to french press for taste or filterless to avoid having to keep buying paper filters.

      People who don’t like their coffee strong often don’t do darker roasts. They would be affected, too.

      How do you prepare yours?

      There are people in the WFPB community who have been perplexed with their high cholesterol and their coffee habits might be contributing.

      I didn’t have an answer when people were saying it, this gives me one.

    2. Good point… I would suspect that most people eating a WFPB diet wouldn’t need to worry about the less than perfect aspects of certain plant foods such as coffee, maybe it’s only cause for concern if people are already bombarding their systems with toxic junk. I would love to see the effects of regular coffee consumption on WFPB dieters compared to those on a SAD.

      My mentality is, I don’t have to worry about it because all I eat is plants (not refined processed foods made from plants) so I can just enjoy the benefits of these things (pleasure being one of those benefits – enjoyment HAS to be good for the telomeres!), but since I was never a regular coffee drinker and prefer tea regularly, I will stick to that in any case.

  4. It would be interesting to see how the different coffee brewing methods stack up in detail. Cold brewing that is not even mentioned here has skyrocketed. And what about coffee brewed in a ‘clover’ machine which is something that chain on every street corner has in its higher end shops. Assuming something is the same as ‘french press’ without ‘putting it to the test’ is how we assumed that coffee was also not affecting cholesterol because it didn’t in lab animals.

  5. In Australia and the UK we measure cholesterol by the millimoles per litre (mmol/l) method. In the US and Europe, they do it by the milligrams per deciltre (mg/dl) method

    To convert from one to the other, use the following formula:-
    To convert cholesterol levels:-
    Cholesterol mg/dl = mmol/l x 38.6
    Cholesterol mmol/l = mg/dl ÷ 38.6
    To convert triglyceride levels:-
    Triglyceride mg/dl = mmol/l x 88.5
    Triglyceride mmol/l = mg/dl ÷ 88.5
    Examples
    Cholesterol 5 mmol/l = 193 mg/dl (ie 5 X 38.6)
    Cholesterol 3 mmol/l = 116 mg/dl (ie 3 X 38.6)
    Triglyceride 2mmol/l = 177mg/dl ( ie 2 X 88.5)

    According to Medline Plus LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dl – that’s 2.6 mmol/l. The UK on the other hand states that for healthy adults, LDL cholesterol should be below 3 mmol/l but for high risk adults LDL cholesterol should be below 2 mmol/l.
    https://medlineplus.gov/cholesterollevelswhatyouneedtoknow.html
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/

  6. >>In the US and Europe, they do it by the milligrams per deciltre (mg/dl) method

    These are units, not methods. Apart from g/l in France people use SI units, not US ones. This is what one would expect, since they use SI units for everything else.

    Le bilan est considéré comme normal si :

    le LDL-cholestérol 0,40 g/l (1 mmol/l),
    les triglycérides < 1,50 g/l (1,7 mmol/l).

    SI in the Czech Republic:
    Cholesterol, doporučené hodnoty?

    do 5,00 mmol/l – celkový cholesterol
    do 3,00 mmol/l – „zlý“ LDL cholesterol
    nad 1,00 mmol/ u mužů – „hodný“ HDL cholesterol
    nad 1,2 mmol/l u žen – „hodný“ HDL cholesterol Při zjištění zvýšené hladiny cholesterolu v krvi je důležité určení hodnot HDL a LDL cholesterolu.
    Zatímco zvýšená hladina „zlého“ LDL cholesterolu je nebezpečím pro naše srdce a cévy, „hodný“ HDL cholesterol má funkci ochrannou, a čím je jeho hodnota vyšší, tím lépe.

    SI in Hungary:

    Milyen az ideális koleszterinszint? Az összkoleszterin-szint (HDL+LDL) 5,2 mmol/liter alatt tekinthető normálisnak. A határérték 5,2 és 7,0 között

    1. To be honest, both mg/dl and mmol/l are, in fact derived from SI units. One could say mmol/l is more in line with SI, since deci- is only to be used exceptionally.

      1. The SI unit for substances is the mole,not the kg. This is because, when we are talking about the effect a substance has, the number of molecules is more important than the mass of those molecules.

        1. Nonsense. In the case of known homogenous substances, the mass and the amount of substance can be exactly calculated from one another, therefore their effect must be the same. And even then, it wouldn’t make kg a non-SI unit. And for example, eating 1 mole of triglycerides will have different effects on you depending on their weight, same for starch, so this clearly shows the mass of the molecules can be more important. In this case, it doesn’t matter.

    2. Thank you PCK.

      I’d taken that statement about Europe from the UK Heart Association’s website.
      https://heartuk.org.uk/files/uploads/documents/huk_fs_mfsP_cholestrigly_leverlsconversion.pdf

      However, I have checked and notice that the 2016 European Guideline for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention actually uses mmol/l to measure cholesterol levels
      https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.eas-society.org/resource/resmgr/publications/2016_European_Guidelines_CVD.pdf

      and the Mayo Clinic states

      ‘In the United States, cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. In Canada and many European countries, cholesterol levels are measured in millimoles per liter (mmol/L). ‘
      https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cholesterol-test/about/pac-20384601

      1. >>I’d taken that statement about Europe from the UK Heart Association’s website.

        This was never going to be a reliable source of information about units in other countries. It isn’t even a good source of information about cardiology.

        Nor would the Mayo Clinic know anything useful on this topic: it would be like using the Telegraph health section as a source of information on nutrition.

          1. I don’t expect people who don’t know me to regard my opinion as a source of information (although I would be surprised if people who did know me didn’t do so). This is why we have to provide evidence in discussions. For example, a peer-reviewed journal article is evidence, an article in the Telegraph is not. A link to the Hungarian Cardiology Association could contain evidence that SI units are used in Hungary: a link to a cardiology site in the US is valueless.

            1. Probably but you didn’t actually provide a link.

              In any case, the original reference was to ‘Europe’ broadly speaking rather than to every single country therein.

              Articles in the Telegraph etc are sometimes helpful plain English summaries that appeal to many people who find the studies themselves too dry and confusingly technical. They can often also provide useful quotes from the study authors that summarise the implications of the study findings. These quotes are not always available with the study itself.

              I basically agree with what you say on this point …. but there are nuances to be found in newspaper/magazine reports that occasionally aren’t available in the actual papers. Sometimes these are misleading but sometimes they provide additional useful information.

              1. >>Probably but you didn’t actually provide a link.

                No, because obviously this isn’t something for which there is any particular ‘authority’. Instead, I provided text in French, Czech and Hungarian, demonstrating the units used in those countries.

                I>>n any case, the original reference was to ‘Europe’ broadly speaking rather than to every single country therein.
                It was random text put in by somebody who didn’t bother to check the facts, as is the case with most websites of this nature.

                >>Articles in the Telegraph etc are sometimes helpful plain English summaries that appeal to many people who find the studies themselves too dry and confusingly technical. They can often also provide useful quotes from the study authors that summarise the implications of the study findings. These quotes are not always available with the study itself.

                The text of recent articles is almost always available online. The problem with quotes from the Telegraph is you are pulling the material through the mind of the random uneducated journalist who wrote the article. They typically get the wrong end of the stick.

                >>I basically agree with what you say on this point …. but there are nuances to be found in newspaper/magazine reports that occasionally aren’t available in the actual papers. The ‘nuances’ are random spin added by the uneducated journalist who wrote the article. If you want context for the article – which is often a good idea – the best source is a recent review. This will have been peer-reviewed and written by somebody competent.

                >>Sometimes these are misleading but sometimes they provide additional useful information.
                Indeed, they do add their own nonsense as click bait sometimes.

  7. Just wondering, does anyone know how long it would take to see possibly lower cholesterol by switching from a metal mesh filter to paper filter?

    1. Phyllis, that probably depends on overall diet. I don’t know much about cholesterol but I would imagine the more whole plant foods you eat which are known to help lower cholesterol (beans being one of many great examples), the faster this would occur.

  8. There was at least one study that sugar raises cholesterol. Has there been a video about that?

    Gosh, I don’t drink caffeinated beverages nor do I eat any foods with any form of added sugar, and my cholesterol is normal even though I eat 4 eggs every day and 100% grass fed beef every day.

    1. Well the leading cause of death in the US is cardiovascular in nature, this is not so in many other cultures with a different diet….so what is normal may indeed be plaque productive.
      What is your normal? And are you on statins?

    2. Yeah, but don’t you ever tire of the same ol’ 4 eggs and beef every bloody day?

      Well, not really the very same…what goes in, goes out ‘n all that.

      1. “every bloody day?”

        Was there a pun intended there YR or was that just a happy coincidence?

        Well assuming it’s an honest post, your cholesterol might be decent despite your poor diet, but that crap certainly isn’t doing your overall health any favors.

        1. “Was there a pun intended there YR or was that just a happy coincidence?

          Yes indeed, S. Am glad somebody picked up on it. :-)

  9. here is a meta-analysis/review article about coffee consumption, you can download it for free here.
    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064941

    True: coffee may raise LDL/lipids, but if eating a WFPB diet and total Chol already low, personally, it is a risk I am willing to take. I rarely drink, I dont use pot, or botox, ayuhuasca, speed, etc. Coffee is my drug of choice and use it half caf in moderation and the enjoyment it brings me far outweighs any downside to raising my LDL.

    Annu Rev Nutr. 2017 Aug 21;37:131-156. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064941.
    Coffee, Caffeine, and Health Outcomes: An Umbrella Review.
    Grosso G1,2, Godos J1,3, Galvano F3, Giovannucci EL4,5,6.
    Author information
    Abstract
    To evaluate the associations between coffee and caffeine consumption and various health outcomes, we performed an umbrella review of the evidence from meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Of the 59 unique outcomes examined in the selected 112 meta-analyses of observational studies, coffee was associated with a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers; cardiovascular disease and mortality; Parkinson’s disease; and type-2 diabetes. Of the 14 unique outcomes examined in the 20 selected meta-analyses of observational studies, caffeine was associated with a probable decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease and type-2 diabetes and an increased risk of pregnancy loss. Of the 12 unique acute outcomes examined in the selected 9 meta-analyses of RCTs, coffee was associated with a rise in serum lipids, but this result was affected by significant heterogeneity, and caffeine was associated with a rise in blood pressure. Given the spectrum of conditions studied and the robustness of many of the results, these findings indicate that coffee can be part of a healthful diet.

  10. Fun fact(or worrying)there does exist organic coffee but caffeine the main active stimulant drug and psychoactive compound is a pesticide made by some parts of the plant that helps to protect them against predator insects and to prevent germination of nearby seeds, i’m glad i never liked it neither got addicted to it~

    1. Yeah but even antioxidants can be thought of as pesticides e.g. sulforaphane is produced when the plant is damaged so as to deter the animals eating them but it’s amazing for us. Definitely a far cry from man-made pesticide chemicals.

  11. Well I am habituated to coffee having drank the stuff since about when I was seven. Went away from it for even years at a time, but really it just makes me more awake, so I objectively feel I would rather be awake. than in a not so awake state..I could stay away, have stayed away, but like being more awake.
    Was that a cause of having drank the stuff at such a young age…I think perhaps it was.
    I am not Buddhist but in Buddhist lore, caffeine as in tea, which is what they had in Asia back in the day, was allowed as a meditational aid.
    There is a particular sutta on this.

    My take away is this…I will now try to use double paper filters and not reuse paper filters……and I think I am then pretty much…. good to go. They are remarkably cheap, though I guess in a slight manner the environment takes a hit on it. But just got a new fridge and hot water heater so…..I guess I am still using less than a bit ago as I bought both on less energy cost basis..

    My base however is not water but hibiscus tea which I expect has benefit.

    1. Re reusing filters, wasn’t there something in the vid about the cafestol being trapped in the grounds more than the filter? The filter filters the sludge which contains the cafestol, not the cafestol itself was my take on it.

      1. Yes I think you are correct Ron.
        But just me and my washing practices…I may leave some traces of the grounds on the filters being reused. I never thought it much of a issue but they are way hard to get completely clean. Seems they are, even when I clean them, slightly darker. Could do it in a dishwasher I suppose but I hand wash.

        I have to accept my limitations, which my female relatives and friends are always expressing to me…..I am a pretty poor cleaner of things.
        Admitting that(no I cannot change) I think I will just go with doubling the new filters. Like growing broccoli sprouts, another thing I will never do…I have to admit my limitations ;)
        I am heating now with almost all rotting wood I find on long dead trees, as opposed to newly cut trees I could buy…. so even paper specific, I think I am not to much a negative on that, trees and all considered.

    2. Ron
      Dietary Brain Wave Alteration (2009)
      “So, you can meditate every day for a few years, or just drink some tea.”/ Dr G.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-brain-wave-alteration/
      3:11 into the video.

      I’ve seen a later paper somewhere. In 30 minutes a tea drinker has the same calm “magnet camera” brain pattern as an experienced meditator.
      Perhaps one reason for drinking tea in Asia
      versus coffee in the stressful Western countries.

      1. The sutta to my dim recollection definitively involved caffeine as I recall it. Something to the effect of…. this advanced spiritual guy was having a problem falling asleep in meditation, so he cut off his eyelids. The eyelids turned into a plant which is consumed to aid in meditation by keeping one awake. The tea leaves of green tea resemble eyelids to some I guess.

        So I think it is not just the tea drinking. Most of the mayahana stuff on diet evolved from china, as that is where monks due to colder climate first started to have permanant residences and then cooked for themselves, not relying on handouts. In warmer climates monks would travel around and not have permenant residences. Which I think reflected in sutta and in tea as preferred to drink than coffee. Southeast asia is big on coffee but I think back in the day China was mainly tea.

        Theravadan is mainly southeast asia and warmer places, so their sutta/sutra differs and also what they can consume as monks differs.

        1. As a bit of a aside, back in the day at retreat house where one was expected to meditate all day every day with only breaks for meals I brought a boat load of caffeine things with me. They thought me a bit odd but could not say a thing as they knew as I knew, it was allowed.

          But this was engageing meditation not a to exclusion meditation. That is with eyes wide open and expected to consider every sensation not stop sensations….actually very high distraction places are sought after at times. But meditation type differs. Invariably in the west they practice the excluding type. Chanting prayer, things like that, tend to exclude outside focus. So study would depend upon what form one is using I suggest.
          Effect on body I surmise is entirely differing.Even in the lineage I have study in I’d guess the engage to exclude proportion is probably a thousand to one. Though it be a core teaching the preliminaries necessitate exclusion. One may practice engagement but not much in the way of pleasure is found in it so few do.By my read.

          1. “As a bit of a aside, back in the day at retreat house where one was expected to meditate all day every day with only breaks for meals I brought a boat load of caffeine things with me.”
            – – – – – – –

            Did you also bring packages of Depends with you? To be loaded up on caffeine, with no breaks — including bathroom breaks? — until meal times would be torture on my lower regions, to say the least. Even without the caffeine. Yikes!

            1. It was not jail. You could use the lou anytime you wanted. But it was expected you would stay in your room in silence.
              Which all pretty much did. To include in the morning about half way through there, was a formal group session of ceremony and chanting for short term retreatants and visitors. But that was optional, one did not have to attend. So that broke it up some. Long termers would not attend. Long termers typically engaged in that for about three years.

              Sitting meditating no, I guess the body systems slow down.I can not recall ever having to get up and pee. Nor did I notice others having to do that.

  12. All my favorite vices may not be good for me. Well, the more information, the better, to weight the risks vs the benefits and ENJOYMENT.

    I make my coffee as a concentrate in an Aeropress coffee maker, which I can dilute with whatever I want. (It’s supposed to have 1/5 the acidity of drip brewed coffee; I’ve no idea what the levels of the cafestol are, though I do use a paper filter.) In the summer, that’s cold water and ice, for fresh-brewed iced coffee. Most recently, I’ve been adding cold ginger tea, for iced ginger coffee; I tried some in June in the DC area, and really liked it. (Plus, I’d read that ginger is often added to coffee in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia, the probable origin of our current coffee.) I cold steep my ginger “tea” (currently 1/2 t ground ginger) in a little pot in the fridge overnight, then add the whole thing to my coffee concentrate, with ice.

  13. Hello coffee lovers!
    I avoid coffee because I want to be completely alert when I wake up in the morning and never sleepy in the afternoon.

    Some people say they can´t start the day without their cup of coffee without having a headache. It is enough for you to stay away from the caffeine for a while to get rid of fatigue and headache. In the case of fasting, abstinence symptoms (lack of coffee) often cause headache on the 3rd day.

    The Coffe Paradox.
    “Coffee addicted” people drink coffee to cure the sleepiness created by the caffeine receptors on the cell surface.
    If you never drink coffee, you have few caffeine receptors (on the cell surface). As soon as you become a regular coffee drinker, you get a lot of receptors screaming for coffee.
    But it’s a riddle for me. Tea and chocolate caffeine doesn’t have that sleepy effect. There must be another substance in coffee that goes hand in hand with caffeine?

    1. P no offense but this has not been my experience. I completely remember some training issues in classrooms and my propensity to get very very drowsy back then,when not drinking the stuff with no overt cause.
      And yes I have stayed away from coffee and caffeine things for years of time.
      I think peoples response to it varies possibly as a partial result of experience and exposure to it, though admittedly that is a personal opinion. Perhaps peoples are at times just wired differently.

      1. When I was young, I used to fall asleep whenever I drank anything warm. Coffee. Hot Chocolate. Tea. Caffeine didn’t matter.

        Now, I don’t drink coffee or hot chocolate at all and never sleep.

        Maybe something in tea?

        I have quadrupled my tea intake.

      2. Ron
        I based my post on my personal experience of coffee, but I was probably a little too categorical. We are all different. We definitely have genetically-modified variations that make us react differently to what we stop in our mouths: food, drink, dietary supplements and drugs.
        Unfortunately, there is not much research on food. The money seems to go to drug research. Although the food is preventing diseases as opposed to drugs.
        Nevertheless, there are several biochemical joint factors for our various reactions to food, as well as medicines, including the important cytochrome P450 system.

        But this is a side track.
        The video is about coffee and cholesterol.

  14. Caffein is a weird drug. It does nothing to keep me awake if I am sleepy when driving, but it will keep me awake at night when I go to bed. I think my normal brain chemistry is somewhat ADD. Ritalin which is used to treat ADHD is a speed, but it calms and regulates those with ADHD disorder. Perhaps caffein is similar?

    1. Who knows the variance with peoples…strange thing, driving. Caffeine works for me but what works best or better…..believe it or not broccoli sprouts. munching down on handfuls of the stuff…it it the awful taste?

      And I actually did my own tiny study…giving it to someone with me and having the same effect….;) Recover after as well better as result. A little sleep and good as new.

      1. Ron, is it possibly just the chewing? When one chews some muscles seem to move up around the temple–stimulating blood flow in the brain perhaps? I notice that chewing most anything, especially crunchy things, helps me stay awake….

        1. Could be I guess, but I’d tend to think for me no. I pretty much scarf down sprouts as I don’t like the taste and the little seeds gross me out as well…
          Chips I chew but don’t seem to have the same effect.
          But everyone is different so perhaps for some it works like that..makes sense. Can’t sleep if your eating ;)

  15. So why not let the coffee set for a bit to let the fine particles settle out, then pour the clear stuff off the top? Or maybe there is a natural additive that could cause the bad stuff to settle out quickly so those with addictions could drink the coffee quicker?

    Apologies… I’m a problem solver by nature.

    1. Lonie, once upon a time, when I was a starving student, I would make “cowboy coffee”, which is basically coffee tossed in a pot on top of measured amount of water, brought to the point of boiling, and stove turned down. When done to taste, a very quick splash of really cold water would make the grounds settle to the bottom of the pot. Voila! These days I still stick to a simple method, but pour boiling water over my preferred brand of organic coffee and let it sift through the ‘expensive’ brand of coffee filters. Maybe that’s why coffee doesnt seem to onfluence my cholesterol levels. The filter brand does make a difference in taste anyway.

      1. I would make “cowboy coffee”, which is basically coffee tossed in a pot on top of measured amount of water, brought to the point of boiling, and stove turned down. When done to taste, a very quick splash of really cold water would make the grounds settle to the bottom of the pot. Voila!
        ——————————————————————————————————————
        Barb, brings back a remembrance of camp coffee. Thanks for the memory.

  16. I tried to like green tea, I really did. But then I read scare articles like this one:

    https://www.curejoy.com/content/green-tea-side-effects-who-must-not-consume/

    I think I’ll just continue livin’ large and stick with my low consumption of drip/paper filtered coffee. Am a risk-taker. :-)

    (Like Joe Caner, it wasn’t all that long ago when I coughed up some bucks for a new coffee maker. My counter top would look a little lonely if I gave it away to somebody.)

    1. There seem to be two primary issues – possible caffeine-related side effects from over consumption and extracted-related side effects (liver issues). The solutions are obvious – don’t drink too much (perhaps any if you are caffeine-sensitive or use decafe), which translates to several cups per day max, and stay away from green tea extracts (which typically also have caffeine). Other than that, I don’t see what is so scary.

    2. Yeah YR, most of those ‘side effects’ of green tea in the article are only from green tea supplements (which makes it decidedly NOT green tea anymore) or are just generic side effects from over consumption of caffeine. You would have to drink gallons of green tea to get any of those side effects unless you were very very sensitive to caffeine.

      On the other hand if you don’t like green tea, no worries. I love water and coffee too.

      1. I had the impression they were referring mainly to the green tea itself, not the supplements (I try to avoid all supplements, anyway). When they referred to supplements, they used the word “supplement.” A lot of the statements started with “The caffeine in green tea……” So I tried to find something that referred solely to the green tea.

        “Green tea reduces the absorption of iron from food. Its polyphenols bind to the iron and make it less available to your body. It was previously believed that green tea hindered the absorption of non-heme iron (iron from animal sources) by about 25%.2 But recent findings suggest that it hinders heme or plant iron absorption too.3

        Add a dash of lemon to your green tea to check iron malabsorption.

        However, vitamin C increases non-heme iron absorption, so you can squeeze lemon into your tea or consume other vitamin-C rich foods such as peas, broccoli, and tomatoes with your meal. If you have an iron deficiency like anemia, the National Cancer Institute recommends consuming tea between meals.4″

        Drinking green tea increases pressure inside the eye. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes.”
        – – – – – – – – —

        I just don’t like green tea, that’s true. Always left me feeling a little headachey.

      1. Yeah, I’ve always known there’s a lot more caffeine in coffee than there is in (any) tea, TG. As I posted up the hill somewhere, the only caffeine I do is when I have tea at lunch-time. Always do the instant decaf at the evening meal, and will be starting doing total decaf in the a.m.

        Of course, we’re not counting my every-day dark chocolate squares. :-)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMJS0ti6P0s

        1. I have just been in Malaysia. They measure property sizes in square feet there. In the Philippines where I am now, they use square metres.

          So, just how big are your chocolte squares?

    1. Hi, Jolene Barrios. As far as I can tell, cold brewed coffee was not included in this study, and a quick search of PubMed revealed nothing on this topic. I wish I had a better answer for you, but, as Dr. Greger says, “We don’t know, until we put it to the test!” That said, I think it is likely that the filtration method would be more important here than the brewing temperature.

  17. I’m a postmenopausal woman in early 60s who’s been on WFPB lifestyle for just under 3 yrs, with most of that on the Esselstyn no-oil plan, although I do eat modest amounts of nuts & an occasional avocado. No history of diabetes, heart disease or any other chronic illness. My BMI is 23.5. My blood pressure routinely is in the 80s to 90s over 50s to 60s. My most recent fasting lab work (May ’18) showed C-reactive protein screen was <0.5 with a reference range of <1.0, so that was normal with no indication of inflammation. BUT, my cholesterol has remained high over the years, despite my dietary efforts. The May screening showed: Total cholesterol-246; HDL-52; non-HDL-194 (supposed to be <160); LDL-160; and triglycerides-169. I haven't had any animal or fish or any animal products for 2 years and 11 months. I take no medications, except for a maintenance dose of an anti-seizure med for a seizure diagnosis in my 40s. I am healthy, active, and bummed about this cholesterol! I have very few vices, but have enjoyed 1-2 cups of Keurig K-cup-pod flavored coffee most mornings. So now, I'm wondering — will giving up coffee lower my cholesterol to within healthy ranges? COFFEE has been my culprit all along?!?! Does coffee now rank right up there with animal products as a dietary source of cholesterol? Wow. Who would've thunk it?!

    1. Trixie..have you been genetically tested for Familial hypercholesterolemia? Is your doc familiar with that? A tell on that can be a early death history of a close family member by cardiovascular disease heart attack or stroke.

      I am no qualifier on this, but those numbers sound very high on a WFPB diet, regardless of coffee consumption. Though with those numbers I would certainly limit consumption.

        1. Thanks so much, Mostly vegan Ron! I’ve not been tested for familial hypercholesterololemia, but I think that’ll be my next step. It’s odd, though. My 89-yr-old dad has uncontrolled diabetes, had a stent put in in 2001 after a heart attack, and he’s got CLL and a laundry list of other things … so no early death there. My almost 90-yr-old mom has COPD & is in extremely frail health — but both parents are still living in their own home (out of stubbornness, mainly) & perking right along, for people in as ill health has they both are. Grandparents all lived to fairly ripe old ages. My only sibling (sister) is 13 months older and probably is pre diabetic if not diabetic, but she steers clear of doctors, likely not wanting to know. No history of strokes in my family that I know of. … I look at my family of origin & wonder “How are they even alive?! with all their poor diet/lifestyle choices. When I’ve kept getting these high cholesterol numbers, I’ve tried to comfort myself by saying: “Just think of what it would be if you WEREN’T on a WFPB diet/lifestyle!!” (But to be honest, picture me crossing my eyes & sticking my tongue out w/ hands on hips crying “It’s just not FAIR!” like a pouty 4-year-old.)

          1. Well family history then suggests not. But the price now is in the hundreds not thousands, so I would suppose it is a good test to have done.
            Keep in mind only one person in lineage with the gene will have a affect upon offspring. Two makes it far worse, but one can make it present in moderate form.
            Don’t know on the medical rules on it as per medicare but I suppose the doc could find a way to push it through. So perhaps depending on supplementary plan it might not cost much at all, as it is diagnostic.

            1. I’m definitely going to investigate having it done. My doc wasn’t sure the C-reactive protein test would be covered when I requested it, but it was. And even if it’s self-pay, a few hundred might be worth it to know, although not sure if I found out I have it what I can do about it. As long as I have normal blood pressure & no sign of inflammation otherwise … and as long as I feel great & am able to enjoy an active lifestyle … I suppose my best action plan would be to ignore the diagnosis. I certainly don’t want to take a med for it! … I just wonder how many others out there in WFPB land might be confronting this same situation I am re: high cholesterol numbers. And I still wonder if cutting out coffee will make that much of a difference. Regardless, I’m already packing up my K-cup coffee boxes to give away. Green & black tea, here I come!

              1. Well my guess Trixie is that if the genetic test did come back positive(which seems very unlikely by history), they would prescribe statins.
                At low dose I think they are mainly harmless. Higher dose and very long term they may present problems, typically involving the liver.
                But each person is a experiment of one, some take to them and some do not.
                I know one person who was on them from his early 60’s to now 80, who just suffered side effects and had to get off them….so you never know.
                He suffered general malise, aches and pains, that sort of thing.Before 80 he was fine with them, very active.

                I agree with you, I would drop the coffee. Why risk it? Can’t hurt.

              2. Trixie,

                Pack it up and try the tea, and let us know what happens.

                Do you eat any sugars or refined grains? Those can be related to higher cholesterol.

                Also, tell us about your sodium and foods with potassium and magnesium intake.

                Very low sodium can raise it, but that topic is one I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. I recognize when the pole-vaulting pole is way too high for me to even try. A subject argued from too many sides for me to get my mind wrapped around when it is too low. Not going there.
                Except that Sodium Bicarbonate was better at not causing the problems that Sodium Chloride caused, so I can look up whether Sodium Bicarbonate helped reverse the whole cholesterol thing…… Hmmmmm….

                Okay, there are articles. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/134/5/1058/4757193

                Okay, pondering the balance of Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium, which was discussed on this site recently, I decided to look Magnesium up and found this: “Lower levels of magnesium are associated with elevated levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). High levels of LDL are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In a number of studies, both human and animal, supplementing with magnesium lowered bad cholesterol levels.”

                1. Sodium Bicarbonate versus Sodium Chloride: “In 10 trials with a total of 2,764 participants, sodium bicarbonate was associated with lower mortality hazard than sodium chloride at 1 year (hazard ratio 0.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.41 to 0.89, p = 0.011).”

                  I wonder whether you have gut microbiome issues. That is something you might be able to figure out with a doctor.

                  They talk about gut microbiome and cholesterol and probiotics and cholesterol.

                  I don’t understand the whole probiotics thing because one study calls it a Jeckle and Hyde Scenario, so I already know it is something I would have to study, but if you have a history of antibiotics (or ate lots of food with Roundup, which is registered as an antibiotic) you might possibly have a gut microbiome issue.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27995830

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24575869

          2. Hi Trixie,

            Maybe everyone in your family also has high cholesterol and that’s what’s keeping them going even with all their other health problems?

            Suzanne

      1. REALLY?! I’m on generic Keppra … Levetiracetam ER 3,500 mg tabs at bedtime … I didn’t know medications could increase cholesterol! I thought it was 100% due to dietary intake (assuming one doesn’t have the familial hypercholesterololemia). Do you know if Keppra (levetiracetam) raises cholesterol?

          1. Hmmmm….. I’m not sure whether to be glad, or sad. But thanks for the info. I think I was hoping to blame the med & not the coffee! Shucks. Guess the Keurig K-cups still gotta go…. Thanks again!

            1. Get your thyroid function checked if you haven’t done so already. A high intake of goitrogenic vegetables such as broccoli, coupled with a low intake of iodine, can cause problems. Hypothyroidism, even when sub-clinical, can raise cholesterol levels.

    2. Trixie, it would be my guess that giving up your coffee would make very little difference in cholesterol levels, and no, it doesnt compare to animal products. See my post above re postmenopausal women and declining estrogen levels and rising cholesterol. Plus, if you have soy milk with the coffee, the soy protein is one of the cholesterol lowering foods. I do eat no oil wfpb, but do not include nuts or avocado. To get my lowest levels I have to eat more like an eco atkins type wfpb.

    3. Hi, Trixie in Texas. It may well be that coffee is keeping your cholesterol elevated. It may not be the only thing that was elevating your cholesterol before you changed your diet, however. By the way, you did not mention sugar intake, and that can be a factor in triglyceride levels. If I were you, I would try cutting the coffee for awhile, and see if your numbers improve.
      Once you have established whether or not coffee is a factor in elevating your cholesterol, you may want to double down on cholesterol lowering foods. Check out these, if you have not already seen them:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-benefits-of-kale-and-cabbage-for-cholesterol/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avocados-lower-small-dense-ldl-cholesterol/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/amla-vs-drugs-for-cholesterol-inflammation-and-blood-thinning/
      I hope that helps!

      1. Thanks so much, Christine! Today is Day One of no coffee. Thus far, I haven’t attacked anyone. :) W/ regard to triglyceride levels, I have had virtually no sugar in my diet since beginning this WFPB lifestyle at the Plantrician Conference in Sept. 2015, which I attended (just as a spouse) w/ my husband, a pediatric neurologist who had to retire early due to a series of strokes & the beginning of an entire litany of other health issues. We’ve both been WFPB — w/ him doing the Esselstyn approach to the nth degree, while I’ve allowed a tiny bit of leeway w/ regard to nuts & avocado (I’ve never had CVD or diabetes or any other chronic disease, unless seizures count). But we did a whole kitchen re-set back then — eliminated everything w/ added oils, salt & sugar. The only time I use sugar is to make nectar for my hummingbirds. Occasionally, I’ll make the Forks Over Knives recipe for oatmeal/raisin cookies, which calls for pure maple syrup, so that’s as close as I come to pure sugar. I don’t use artificial sweeteners. I do not eat refined grains. Only whole-wheat pasta (and not often, at that), black & red rice mostly, w/ some occasional brown rice, quinoa, etc. I eat organic rolled oatmeal almost every day (I don’t cook it … eat it as if it were a regular cereal because, well, I’m in TEXAS, which is kinda like living in hell, temperature-wise, 11 months out of the year, so the least amount of heating is what I shoot for), w/ the occasional use of shredded wheat & bran, nothing added. I’m an expert label-reader & could teach a college course on how to spot added sugars, oil, salt, additives, etc. My only source of processed or refined “sugar” has been the glass of wine I’ve enjoyed most evenings as my treat for being so “good” otherwise. Now, I’m cutting back on even that to about once or twice a week. I have ramped up moderate exercise; I’ve done regular meditation/contemplative practices for about 15 years; I’m in a loving relationship; and I get good sleep. W/ all that, I’d like SOMETHING else to blame for these high cholesterol levels, so here’s hoping coffee will be it! Thanks to one & all who’ve chimed in with great ideas, suggestions, information, etc.

      1. Great question, Tom! The answer is yes, “but” … Yes, I’m trying Amla and also dinosaur kale & red cabbage, etc., “but” I’ve only started doing so after this latest round of fasting lab work back in May. (That’s when these videos came to my attention.) So, I don’t yet know if my efforts have paid off. We had to order the Amla powder online, as local grocery stores don’t carry it. It tastes terrible, even in small amounts and even mixed in with my morning oatmeal, berries, flaxseed & goji berries. (I also put turmeric powder & Ceylon cinnamon in my oatmeal bowl, as disgusting as that sounds. But it’s the only time I think to do it, so it works.) We also found Amla supplements, which recommends 2 twice daily. I’ve only been taking 2 once daily, though, as I don’t like to take supplements in the evening. We try to follow Dr. Esselstyn’s advice re: boiled kale w/ some balsamic vinegar (I love the Italian herb balsamic I get through the Olive Tap website — all their flavored dark & white balsamic vinegars are our go-to salad dressings — again a suggestion we found through the Esselstyn book). I don’t make Dr. E’s recommended 5x/day fistful of kale w/ balsamic dosage, but I usually get a nice fistful amount once or twice a day. I also typically get quite a bit of raw kale, spinach, arugula & romaine in my diet, as I put greens in & on everything. All organic, of course. I’ll be interested to see if the Amla, kale & now NO COFFEE efforts pay off at my next lab workup. Wonder how long any of these “interventions” take to show up on lab work? And, I wonder if the Amla supplements do as good a job as the Amla powder. I’m guessing not, but it sure would make it easier to swallow! Thanks again for the question/suggestions. I’m open to any/all that’ll help me get this pesky LDL down to a healthy level & the HDL up as high as possible. Thanks, y’all! :)

        1. Yes, I stick amla in my oatmeal too. You could try blending it with something sweeter to disguise the taste – frozen berries, beetroot powder or any other sweet powdered wholefood.

          Note that testing for familial hyercholesterolaemia is probably a waste of money. It’s only really worth doing if you have sky high cholesterol since it concerns a couple of very specific gene variants that deliver very high cholesterol levels . The fact is that scientists now know of very many other gene variants which raise or lower cholesterollevels compared to people without thse variants. Here’s another post I wrote on a later video – it provides some references:

          “This is true of hypercholesterolaemia and, at the other end of the spectrum, hypocholesterolaemia. These are linked to certain specific gene alterations.

          However, these are extremes and it remains possible that many other people not at these extremes still find that their cholesterol levels are affected by their genetic makeup. More than 50 genes can affect people’s LDL levels and as the European Atherosclerosis Society consensus statement on LDL lvels being a causal factor in cardiovascular disease notes:

          “Monogenic and polygenic-mediated lifelong elevations in LDL lead to markedly higher lifetime risk.13–20,27–31,40,43”
          https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109

          This paper discusses some of the issues.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838666/

          I’d suggest that these demonstrate that people with hyercholesterolaemia are not the only ones whose cholesterol levels are increased by their genes. Such people may represent a significant proportion of the population. Perhaps. None of which is to say that dietary and other lifestyle changes cannot lower cholesterol levels in people genetically predisposed to higher levels. Here is a plain English discussion of the issue that may be helpful
          https://www.nhs.uk/news/genetics-and-stem-cells/new-high-cholesterol-genes-discovered/

          You may need to discuss prescription meds with your doctor if diet and exercise can’t get your levels down.

  18. I imbibe one cup of coffee (6-8 oz) every few days made from one Illy Capsule, under pressure. The capsule is very hard plastic which is recycled back to Illy. I took and had the capsule busted open. In the bottom is a paper looking filter. I’m feeling better about it now. I think!
    During my college days, the professors would not accept references, abstracts, articles over ten years of age. Does this site have any restrictions like this– just wondering. I assume no. Hey, I’m just asking a question– don’t read anything into it please.

    1. Ruth, I am no one of authority on this thing but…
      Many of the nutritional studies, such as amino acid composition of protein materials found in plants, and utilized in later research study by McDougal and others, are indeed about 70 years old.
      They still serve as valid and foundational for later research.
      So not to say your professors were wrong in that, but to add that it depends a bit on the specific field of study. Generally things of science represented in study are abandoned when other study or studies prove them wrong but not abandoned on the basis of age of generation.

  19. Good news for me, I prefer the taste of dark roast, but unfortunately I also prefer the taste of French pressed :( I rarely drink coffee though, it’s more of a once in a while thing. If I did drink coffee regularly this would be enough to make me switch to tea. Why drink something every day as a habit that is anything less than awesome for you. Since I do enjoy coffee as a treat, I would like to hear more of the antioxidant benefits. Despite the cholesterol, isn’t coffee loaded with antioxidants? According to one video here (and older one) I saw that coffee ranked higher in antioxidants than green tea, but green tea is still clearly healthier.

    1. Despite the cholesterol effect which by my take would be alleviated by the use of two paper filters(though there is not study to back that up) not one.

      There is study which finds the type of skin cancer most commonly found by those in high altitude states such as Colorado and New Mexico may have a lesser incidence amongst coffee drinkers than not.
      This is of course far from conclusive and not a proven but the effect upon cholesterol when on a WFPB diet weighed against a known hazard living at altitude provides, which this article suggests…. https://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/news/20111024/coffee-fights-common-skin-cancer#2
      I could see using coffee.

      Living in NYC or like place…probably I would say not.

  20. “Despite the cholesterol effect which by my take would be alleviated by the use of two paper filters(though there is not study to back that up) not one.”
    – – – – – –

    Hmm, interesting theory, ron. Maybe I’ll use two now instead of one. It’s always hard to separate them, anyway.

    Tomorrow friends and I will be going to the Curry House for Indian buffet, starting at 5 PM. We always look forward to this (although the weather will be hot as hell). They have a huge selection of delicious choices. We get there by 5, so that the stuff is relatively “fresher.” Yaaay, pig-out time! Anyway, the only beverage options are either Chai tea or fairly strong (for me) coffee. I don’t care for the chai tea — for one reason, it’s too sweet and has milk in it — so will have the coffee. Cups are small, so will probably refill at least twice.

    Am not worried about sleeping well tomorrow night. The caffeine doesn’t seem to affect me very much. Other than to make me even more witty, sparkly and chatty than usual. Har-har! :-D

    1. Just me I am sure but I can’t drink much coffee out. To hot. Go to starbucks and I have to order a glass of ice to put in it.

      I do get chatty as well with anything caffeine. Which Is I guess a good thing. Peoples tend to think you are not having fun or enjoying them if you are quiet.
      Seems if one filter stops most of it two would work for almost all of it……so I am doing that. I certainly will not stop drinking the stuff. To much to do and it helps that for me.

      1. YR, I probably shouldn’t have tried to interject my humor. My style of that doesn’t really lend itself well to the written format anyway. I got to thinking you might not realize the extent to which I was joking. I wondered if maybe you’d think I was subtlely trying to slam you, or something. I’d probably be wise to leave the humor to the real humorists, like you! I hope you enjoy the food and togetherness tonight. It sounds wonderful.

        1. Naw, I’m thinking we’re all wackadoodles at this joint, Scott. You are indeed a funny guy (“What do you mean, funny?”) :-)

          Actually, I shouldn’t have used the word chatty. I’m usually too busy knocking off my over-loaded plate of yummies, and will let them do most of the talking. (It’s hard to talk with food in you mouth, right?) I think — like with those who drink alcohol in order to put up with the people around them — I drink the coffee in order to stay awake. Not saying they can be boring or anything…… ;-)

    2. YR, does the buffer not offer water? That’s what I drink, when I go out to eat. For some reason, I’m never charged for it, either — unless I order a sparkling water.

      1. Dr. J, oh yes, when we first choose our tables, and before going to the buffet section, somebody always comes around to fill our water glasses. I always tell them no ice. (I also tote along my own bottle of filtered water, to which I will have added some ACV.)

        But I drink the the coffee toward the end, at dessert time. We can drink it throughout the whole meal, of course, but I don’t usually drink anything while eating food. It’s a one-charge thing, this buffet spread, so we can go back for seconds or thirds *burp* — but I pretty well know how to gage the amount the first time. I just wish they offered decaf coffee or tea, but they don’t.

  21. Okay I’ll be more careful about drinking the bottom of my cup.

    As I don’t use any of the methods listed, I’ll have to adjust as I see fit. But I don’t have any cholesterol issues.

    It’s most like a French Press usually, but sometimes I let the grounds settle out of the mix (190* water and grounds in a two-quart measuring bowl) and simply pour the coffee off the top of them. In a rush I’ll pour the water/grounds mix through a strainer and mind the mud in the cup.

    I’m going to cut down on the mud. Maybe dial back the opacity of my cup too.

  22. Off topic but thought I may mention. I know this is all about WFPB this site, but many vegans advocate for Dr Gregers work.

    Anyway Joe Rogan is having a debate Sept 27 between one of the WFPB docs and Chris Kresser of Paleo fame.
    Joe Rogan is the most popular site on You Tube, and he has millions of subscribers ,who watch his almost daily podcasts. And he devotes up to three hours with each interview he does, so this will be in depth. This will not be a made for TV debate but a real thing.

    I take it that Joe has received so much positive feedback on veganism he has to address it. He is completely against the holier than thou attitude, which seems to pervade the space, but he has to know much is there to advocate for it nutritionally as WFPB. One other comedian had a AMI with a completely occluded coronary artery, which he has surprisingly survived, and now is vegan. And a weightlifter type, CT Fletcher, went vegan before his heart transplant. And not to forget the many athletes that are part or in some select cases fully vegan in diet for performance. Nick and Nate Diaz two of the top draws in UFC both vegan with the exception of eggs when in training.

    He had the meat is for pussies author on a few weeks back. John Joseph a punk rocker from back in the day a get in your face guy.
    So could be a turning point here in the states. In the UK that turning point by my read was a few years back, it being very popular now there.

    1. I have a cup of instant decaf at evening meal, ordinarily. And tea at lunchtime — which of course has caffeine. Will start in on the total decaf in the a.m. in a few days. Never cottoned to those healthy herbal teas, unfortunately.

  23. I persisted with coffee on an otherwise healthy WFPB diet for years in the happy belief that, if it was not actually AS good as some of blurb suggested, it surely was not doing me any harm (I don’t drink alcohol or smoke or take any prescription/recreational drugs). Then I gave up caffeine simply because I was addicted and was extremely suspicious of an addictive substance that was hailed as so apparently good.

    The difference it has made has been incredible in terms of acid reflux, general digestive upsets for time to time, bladder irritability, mood….. who would have thought caffeine was having such a negative impact on my general well being when everywhere we told that it is a wonder substance. I have not touched caffeine since and that mean excluding certain teas and cocoa. So if you have any niggling well being issues, having gone WFPB, and you do to indulge in any other body harming stuff, try ditching the caffeine.

    PS I had horrible sick headaches for over a weak coming off the stuff (and you have to avoid caffeine in OTC painkillers too) but it was worth it. Once you get over the habit you do not miss it. the thought of coffee now makes me feel queasy.

    1. No offense G but I really think as regards coffee more and more reading the posts here this is a individual thing.

      I was completely off any caffeine for several years and did indeed miss it. It was functionally beneficial to consume it. Some are not that way certainly, but I am, and have never rethought that. In fact looking back I think I would have performed better in some select incidents if I was consuming it.

      Aside this, much more a negative for me was the occasional consumption of pain killers such as advil Tylenol and their like, found often in cold medicines and such.. I had one friend of mine went into partial renal failure directly related to that. He was a weightlifter by hobby a martial artist and would consume that regularly to assuage the various aches and pains.
      I find few consuming coffee having such problems. And looking back I really think there are demonstrable overt negative effects to such use or any use for me. Others maybe not. I have not rethought the use of those things at all and it has been years now which was as well my abstinence from caffeine. So I would not say habit is my qualifier.

      So I raise no objection to content but do consider the personal allowance of all as me a bit misplaced. Certainly to repeat, my experience with coffee may not be a majority experience at all. But it is.

      I still remain with the idea sat fat cholesterol fat in general, oil processed, are by vast majority the causative factor in high cholesterol readings. Eddelstein did not achieve his remarkable results by stopping coffee use. I suspect coffee will not serve as a stand alone mechanism for high cholesterol. If it was certainly the meat and dairy industry would have glommed onto the idea by now and widely publicized it.
      But they have not.

    2. Gillian, I can relate to all you posted and I used to only drink two cups a day of either tea or coffee and no other caffeine the rest of the day. The effects sneak up on you over time, 3-6 months for me, and I recommend reading the book Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske M.S. Research and Clinical Nutritionist and I sure it will ring a lot of bells for you as it did for me. There are lots of negative physiological effects from caffeine. It was an excellent book and lots of footnotes and the sources in the book.

      1. Thanks for that, Lea. I did not even mention the magical effect giving up caffeine had on my quality of sleep! Or general anxiety levels, a weird low level psychological inflammation you do realise you’ve got until it goes away. What worries me most is how little you ever hear of the downsides of caffeine, you would think they do not exist. Which makes you wonder just who has such a vested interest in keeping us all under caffeine cosh?

        1. You’re welcome, Gillian. I can relate to the sleep issue too, but it takes a few months till that happens along with everything else. And also, if I’m under stress caffeine jacks it up more. Plus my attitude towards things changes. I get a more negative attitude towards some things which normally don’t bother me (and have now become a pain). Caffeine seems to cause, over time, for lack of a better description, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fatigue, or laziness(?) (yes, your choice of the word “inflamation” is a good description, too.) And I become a little “testy”, and don’t push me about anything. It’s like I am two different people on caffeine vs off caffeine. Most likely you can probably still find a used copy of the book at any online book store. We tend for forget, after all , that caffeine IS a drug. And for some of us, that drug causes more problems than any of the benefits could negate.

          1. Lea, I have the book. I bought it years before I ever thought of giving up coffee and put it aside and never read it, til now. I have no idea whether other people just have a greater tolerance for caffeine or metabolise it differently but I suspect not. I suspect they suffer the same suite of harms we did and just do what I did, convince themselves it is a harmless pleasure compared to all the others they have given up in the cause of clean healthful living (it is the last rotten indulgences that tether us down and are the devil to break. I still have a problem with desserts despite the fact that I know sugar is not food, it is a drug, and like caffeine, saps the will).

            1. Gillian, maybe you can find some healthier versions of desserts that you like at the Forks Over Knives web site. Sweetened with fruits instead of sugar.

              I’m glad you are reading the book. When I first bought it, I had already quit drinking caffeine beverages, but was curious as to what he had written, so I bought it. When I started reading it, I could hardly put it down. Great book!

  24. Great info Doc!
    And here’s me thinking I knew that it was ONLY the consumption of animal products which raised LDL cholestarol.
    Are there any other plant products which will do this too?

    1. Hey Joanne, that’s a good question! To my knowledge all saturated fats negatively impact your cholesterol levels so coconut oil and palm oil are definitely ‘foods’ to avoid. The quotations are because both oils are so processed I personally don’t actually count them as foods…

  25. the whole discussion is relatively meaningless, in my point of view – because Dr. Greger did’nt mention what kind of coffee has been putted to the test. May he doesn’t it by him self. Because there is a big, very big different at the coffee and his parts (removed or not) by the kind of methode of rosting. Most coffee will be rosted by the industry withhin seconds, because time is money. And this coffee is good for painting your fences but not good to drink any. The classical methode is rosting the coffee during 20 up to 30 minutes by relativ low temperatures compared with the industry. So that during this roasting process most of the “not so good and helthy compounts” can disappear. Also, for me, it is a big different between organic coffee and the other grap.
    Nevertheless drinking to much coffee, organic or not organic, industrial roasted or classical roasted, is not a good idea at all – and the modern kind of coffee trinking (sorry) like you do ist at the USA (coffee to go, quick coffee at the tram, in the car, at the office etc.) will play also a role. In the good old days at Germany, for example, we sit down for coffee – like the English people for there tea time. And, if you go to a coffee restaurant at Austria, you will get your coffee always with a glas of water also in French. So, what are the effects of this ? Stay corious…. ;-)

  26. Maybe try the stove top moka machine (Italian). This creates practically no particulate and it’s also possible to screw a filter on…

  27. Wow, those cholesterol levels on the graph do look a bit high, but it doesn’t say how much coffee they were drinking.
    I like double shots of espresso, but only a few times a week, not every day. Would it help to filter it through paper – maybe not…
    I tried switching from dark to medium roast, to get more chlorogenic acid…but still like dark roast…where it’s thought there is less traces of acrolien..
    My favorite new drink is matcha (the cheaper non-ceremonial grade), from Japan (low lead), with soy milk – hopefully thats not neutralizing the antioxidants!

  28. Boo! (hahaha!) No fun! So, I had switched from doing my decaf coffee French press to a paper filter. I think I’m going to switch to matcha green tea in the morning. I have been eating a low fat, whole food plant-based diet, but my total cholesterol and LDL were elevated a few months ago. My ratio is supposedly healthy, but since I’m an overachiever, I have been using amla powder and using matcha a bit too, along with flaxseed meal in small amounts. I’m hoping my next set of blood work comes back good, but I might wait and see if abstaining from coffee 100% will help it further along. I have that genetic bit, I think, but I feel still hope that I can overcome this aspect of my genes, since I’ve overcome so many other so-called “genetic” disorders. ;)

  29. For some reason, my total cholesterol is in range and so is my LDL, but my HDL is low. This concerns me because low HDL can cause heart disease. I also have elevated liver enzymes. I’m not even 20 yet and have eaten WFPB for about a year. Before that I did eat fairly healthy, but still ate some animal products. I feel like since I’m so young and have been healthy my whole life that this shouldn’t be happening to me. My family doesn’t have a history of heart disease either.

  30. Several years ago I read the book Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske, M.S. Research and Clinical Nutritionist. He did some very careful research into the effects of caffeine. It was a fascinating and informative read. I could hardly put the book down. He debunks the myths and writes about the dark side of caffeine and all the negative physiological effects it has on the body. There are footnotes throughout the book and pages 402 through 442 has them all listed.

  31. I’ve been vegan for 5 years, female, age 50. After seeing one of your videos about cholesterol I became curious and had my blood tested. Surprisingly enough the results came back with very high rates of cholesterol (251 mg/dl) and LDL (152 mg/dl). Thinking these results may just be a fluke, I had my blood tested again, but the results haven’t changed (+/- 3%).
    What can be the cause of this high concentration, despite my plant based (and mainly whole food) diet?
    Are there any suggestions on what foods to look out for?
    Thank you for your brilliant and inspiring work!

  32. Simply avoiding animal products (veganism) is often not enough to get cholesterol into the optimal range which is about 140. At this level, basically no one experiences any cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke in the Framingham heart study. To attain this low level of cholesterol, you will likely need to eat strictly unprocessed whole food plant based and may need to avoid all foods with significant fat content as well which means no nuts, no seeds, no avocado. This also means from farm to mouth. Shop in the produce section only. If you’re looking at food with a label then you’re in the wrong aisle. I.e various crackers, breads and chips might say that they are whole food, but they are processed so they will increase cholesterol. I’m living testimony to the effectiveness of this lifestyle as my cholesterol was high and is now at 140. I only eat fruits and vegetables. Fruit is always fresh or frozen. Only a knife may be used. No smoothies. Veggies are often raw, but I do make soups with only veggies. Give it a try for a few months and report back.

    Dr. Ben

  33. Hi, maybe someone already asked or maybe you even have a video about this, that I haven’t noticed but here is the question- what about coffee and magnesium, does coffee really washes it away?

  34. Hi E.G. – Thanks for your great question! Coffee does not wash away or directly deplete our body of magnesium, but it may affect intestinal absorption of magnesium. Which means that over time, if we are drinking large amounts of coffee, we may not be absorbing as much magnesium as we otherwise would. By eating enough foods higher in magnesium (ex. pumpkin seeds, legumes, bran, nuts, whole grains, green leafy veggies), this can help ensure you’re getting enough daily magnesium to prevent a deficiency.

    I hope this answers your question!
    -Janelle RD (Registered Dietitian & Health Support Volunteer)

  35. I have been ‘Whole Food, Plant Based’ for about two and a half months now and have got more strict as the diet progressed. Since 1st Oct 2018 I have been very disciplined in using zero oil. I do not have any spread (butter or low fat marg) on toast even – just marmite or a thin layer of jam. I don’t use oil in cooking either.
    I had a cholesterol test done mid November and it came back as 6.1 total cholesterol – that’s 235 in American.
    My previous test in April 2018 was 6.0 = 231. My cholesterol went up fractionally even though I am WFPB with zero oil intake. It must be my coffee drinking that is keeping my cholesterol high. I drink about three cups every moring and have done for many, many years. The last two years I have been usiing approx three heaped tablespoons of med roast ground coffee in a paper filter machine.

    Any thoughts on why my cholesterol has stayed the same..?

  36. Hi, Unix! Congratulations on transitioning to a WFPB lifestyle! Your coffee could be contributing to your cholesterol. If you are losing weight, you could be experiencing some spillover effect from your own body fat. Some people seem to have a genetic tendency to high blood cholesterol that can be stubborn and difficult to reduce. If you have not already seen them, these videos might be of interest to you: https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=cholesterol
    Some foods that can reduce cholesterol include oats, kale, cabbage, and amla. Cutting the coffee might make a difference. I would suggest that you try it and see. I hope that helps!

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for the welcome to this great diet and for the reply!

      Yes, I am losing weight. I am a 51yr old male and held a fairly constant weight of 150lbs. I lost approx 10lb in just under three weeks since being strict on the diet. I now weigh 139lbs and I’m sure there’s little more to come off. The weight loss in unintentional, beu welcome all the same :o)
      You say “spillover effect”; do you mean that my blood may have a higher-than-normal fat content as it’s taking fat from my cells for elimination?
      Is that what you mean, is that how it works?

      Richard

      1. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Congratulations on the weight loss and the positive lifestyle changes. Weight loss itself can cause a temporary increase in cholesterol levels. When you lose weight, your body burns its stored fat and releases fatty acids into your bloodstream. It should be temporary.
        If you are using a paper filter for your coffee, that should be filtering out the oil which can raise cholesterol. Make sure you do have added oils in your diet, even “healthy” oils- olive oil, coconut oil etc. Those can rise cholesterol. If you are having issues with your cholesterol despite a healthy diet, Dr. Greger has a helpful blog about that:
        https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-can-i-do-to-lower-my-cholesterol-it-seems-ive-tried-everything/

        Keep up the great work.
        NurseKelly

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