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A number of observational and population studies suggest that drinking a moderate amount of coffee may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including certain arrythmias (such as atrial fibrillation), and death from heart attack. However, high daily intake of unfiltered coffee (such as French press, Turkish coffee and espresso) may increase levels of bad cholesterol — and not because of coffee additives, such as milk, creamer or sugar. High intakes of caffeinated coffee are also associated with an increased risk of dementia. Get the details, including whether coffee consumption affects risk of high blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Sign in to read the full answer.

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September 17, 2020

I found it very surprising this article to slipped past a company that people count on to take meaningful measurements and make meaningful recommendations.
The article was all about the number of cups of coffee (filtered or unfiltered) consumed, but had little to use in measuring a life style.

I understand the need for generalization. However, since the article was so specific in relating ounces, some mention of concentration might have been a good idea.

Its very unlikely that 4.2 oz of expresso is the same as 4.2 oz metal mesh drip.
If we were to use one K-cup and set the Keurig to 4oz, is that actually one cup of coffee? How about those that select 12oz. Would that be three cups?
September 24, 2020

Hi Dan – you are correct that the amount of cafestol and kahweol per cup of coffee differs depending on the brewing method, and not all unfiltered coffee carries the same magnitude of risk for increasing cholesterol. However, earlier studies have quantified the concentrations of these diterpenes per cup of coffee (, and the results align well with what is reported in our answer above (i.e., that paper-filtered and instant coffee have negligible risk, espresso and mocha have moderate risk, and unfiltered coffees prepared by boiling or Turkish coffees have highest risk of increasing cholesterol).

July 21, 2021

If I drink coffee or tea I get AFIB

September 16, 2020

Please advise if Nespresso pods used in Nespresso machines are considered "filtered" like k-cups. Thank you.
September 29, 2020

Unlike K-cups, Nespresso does not provide capsules or coffee products that use paper filters. Therefore, they would be classified as unfiltered.

September 10, 2020

As a coffee lover, I was quite interested in this research. However, I often drink a delicious organic instant coffee. Any research or thoughts on the cafestol and kahweol content contained in instant coffee? Thank you.
September 24, 2020

Hi Katherine – The amount of cafestol and kahweol found in instant coffee is similar to that found in paper-filtered coffee (

January 10, 2021

Where on earth have you found a delicious instant organic coffee?

March 17, 2021

We use Mount Hagen Organic Coffee -Cafe Decaffeinated or Caffeinated.

September 10, 2020

I normally use paper filters when brewing coffee, but my sister just gave me a cloth filter (Chemex). Do you know if those are as effective as paper filters? Thanks!
September 25, 2020

Research has shown that some, but not all, cotton-nylon cloth filters can remove cafestol and kahweol from coffee ( The difference seems to depend on the material used for the cloth filter, as well as the number of times the coffee is filtered. To be safe, it would be prudent to consider using paper filters.

September 10, 2020

I have been using a metal filter for the last year, I had never used one before. I will switch back to now to paper, great article.

Janet 20898
September 9, 2020

Would coffee made from the Keurig machine also raise cholesterol in the same way as unfiltered coffee? Seems like it would, but this is not mentioned in the article. Thanks.
September 10, 2020

Hi Janet - thanks for your question! We've added information about this to the answer above.

September 8, 2020

I clicked on the article link, but the details are scarce. I wanted to determine if the study accounted for what trial participants may have added to their coffee, assuming that participants are honest about the additives. I can understand that adding unhealthy fats, such as cream, and possibly also sugar, would definitely raise LDL and triglyceride levels. On the other hand, I just add almond milk and Stevia. Dr. Cooperman, please let me know if you have more details in this regard, because I'm a worrier. Much Thanks!
September 10, 2020

Hi Deborah - great question! We've reviewed the individual studies cited in the analysis and have updated our full answer above to explain whether coffee additives such as milk, creamer or sugar may have influenced the results.

September 6, 2020

Regarding the recent Chinese analysis showing that heavier coffee consumption is associated with higher cholesterol: Do you know how a "cup" was defined? At least in the US, if you mention a "cup of coffee" the thought these days is of, say, a generous mug, which can be far larger than traditional "coffee cups," or than what you will be served if you request a "cup" of coffee in many other countries. This definition can greatly change one's practical takeaway from the study.
September 10, 2020

Hi Richard, great points! We've added information related to your comments - including how a "cup" was defined and how this volume compares to a typical mug - to the answer above.

September 6, 2020

I believe the way coffee is brewed has a direct result on LDL levels. Specifically, coffee that is brewed with a paper filter via drip versus percolated has a negligible effect on LDL. Apparently, the paper filter captures the coffee oils which are responsible for the modest effect on LDL.
September 10, 2020

Hi Mike - You are correct. We've added information about this to the answer above.

October 2, 2017

I have read that coffee (caffeine?) can be a big problem ( or one cause) for acid reflux.

September 27, 2017

I used to drink up to five mugs of coffee a day. At the age of 70 I started to have an irregular heart beat. Meaing my heart would miss a beart or two and then douible up the next beats. This caused an uncomfortable feeling in my chest and neck. I went to my doctor and I ended up doing a stress test with a cardiogram, etc. The conclusion was to cut way back on the caffiene Result, the irregular heart beats stopped. Now I drink decaffineated coffee.

September 9, 2020

Do you have any information on how "cold brewed" coffee affects cholesterol levels?
September 25, 2020

There is limited research about the amount of cafestol and kahweol in cold-brewed coffee, but at least some evidence suggests that cold-brewed coffee contains these chemicals in amounts similar to unfiltered coffee unless the cold-brewed coffee is filtered through a paper filter:

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