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Hot Beverages/Foods & Risk of Esophageal Cancer

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Dean, thanks for the recent posts!

 

About the mocha method: note that most mocha brewers are made out of aluminum! Aluminum is not benign. PubMed will show this, as long as industry-financed papers are excluded.

 

About the second paper: this is extremely useful! I don't drink much tea because I'm still not non-worried about manganese (and am getting tons from my new hemp seed consumption), but from a basic chemistry standpoint, it's good to know that there's something about the caffeine molecule that makes it harder to dislodge at lower temperatures than other molecules in tea -- something that could well be relevant to the question of the ratio of non-caffeine bennies to caffeine bennies (1) in different methods of preparing coffee.

 

Zeta

 

(1) Some aren't sure whether caffeine is beneficial, but it seems to be, against Parkinson's, and possibly against Alzheimer's.

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On 10/22/2015 at 1:13 AM, Dean Pomerleau said:
It uses paper filters to get rid of the harmful junk in coffee that Michael talks about.plunger instead.

 

 

It's not at all clear to me that cafestol and kahweol are best characterized as "harmful junk."  While there is evidence that they are associated with increased LDL levels,  the exact type of LDL involved is not clear,   nor, afaik, have any direct harmful effects  been established.

 

On the other hand, there appears to be abundant evidence of positive benefits from cafestol and kahweol (see below.)

 

Elsewhere Dean made the argument:

 

Quote

 

...my point is that if your blood pressure is fine, as is the case with most CR practitioners, thankfully including you, it would seem the health benefits of caffeine (e.g. reduced dementia risk, reduced parkinson's risk, reduced heart disease risk, reduced all-cause mortality etc.) would be equivalently enjoyed whether you are a fast or slow metabolizer.

 

I'm wondering why a similar argument wouldn't be valid in relation to cafestol and kahweol:  if your blood lipids are fine, as in the case of most CR practitioners, it would seem that the health benefits of cafestol and kahweol need not be tossed aside out of fear of a possible increase in LDL levels. 

 

------------------

Coffee provides a natural multitarget pharmacopeia against the hallmarks of cancer

Excerpts (emphasis added):

 

A cup of coffee also contains lipids, which are mainly found in the form of two diterpene alcohols: cafestol and kahweol (Fig. 1). These molecules are sensitive to the roasting process and also largely removed from coffee

when it is brewed using a paper filter (Fig. 2) (Silva et al.2012).

 

****

By analyzing the effects of the consumption of coffee by rats, Ferk et al. (2014) noticed that coffee consumption

prevents DNA damage and that this protective effect is stronger when the coffee is prepared using a metal filter, which releases more caffeine, cafestol and kahweol (Fig. 1). The two coffee lipids, cafestol and kahweol, are anti-genotoxic compounds that prevent the deleterious effects of reference carcinogens N-nitrosodimethylamine, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine, ferric ion-nitrilotriacetic acid and H2O2 in human hepatoma HepG2 cells (Majer et al. 2005), NIH/3T3 mouse embryo fibroblast cell line (Lee and Jeong 2007) and healthy human lymphocytes (Bichler et al. 2007). They act directly as ROS scavengers, and they increase the level of UDP- glucuronosyltransferase and glutathione S-transferase (GST), two enzymes involved in the detoxification of DNA-reactive metabolites. In addition, they act also on the DNA-repair machinery by activating the induction of O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, a DNA-repair enzyme (Huber et al. 2003). In a more recent study, both cafestol and kahweol were also described as inhibitors of cytochrome P450, an enzyme responsible, among other things, for the activation of carcinogens and thus DNA damage (Silva et al. 2012).

 

***

 

Cafestol (Fig. 1), a diterpene homologous to kahweol,  also inhibits HUVEC proliferation and migration in a dose dependent manner at concentrations as low as 20 lM. At the same concentration, the mechanistic analysis shows that it partially or completely inhibits the phosphorylation of VEGFR2, Akt and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), but does not affect Erk 1/2, although a concentration of 5 lM was sufficient to significantly decrease the tube formation in a Matrigel assay (Wang et al. 2012).

 

***

 

In agreement with its anti-angiogenic properties, kahweol (Fig. 1) (25 lM) reduces the expression of MMP-2

and completely inhibits this enzyme and the protease urokinase (50 lM) (Cardenas et al. 2011). At a lower

concentration (5 lM), it inhibits the migration and invasion of several human cancer cells lines, such as MDA-MB-231 (breast), A549 (lung) and PC3 (prostate). Under the same conditions, kahweol decreases the expression levels and activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in MDA-MB-231 cells via STAT-3 inactivation (Kim et al. 2012).

 

***

 

Cafestol (Fig. 1), one of the main diterpene alcohols, induces apoptosis in renal carcinoma Caki-1 cells by promoting the up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic proteins Bim and Bax and the down-regulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins cellular FLICE (FADD-like IL-1b-converting enzyme) inhibitory protein (cFLIP), Bcl-2, Mcl-1, and BclxL via the inhibition of the Akt pathway (Choi et al. 2011). With kahweol (Fig. 1), these proteins can both trigger the apoptosis of human malignant pleural mesothelioma cells by decreasing protein and mRNA levels of the transcription factor Sp1. Although structurally similar, cafestol most effectively cleaved Bid, caspase-3 and PARP, whereas kahweol induced apoptosis by up-regulating Bax and down-regulating Bcl-xL (Lee et al. 2012).

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4648805/

 

--------------------------------------

 

Cafestol, a Coffee-Specific Diterpene, Is a Novel Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Inhibitor with AP-1-Targeted Inhibition of Prostaglandin E2 Production in Lipopolysaccharide-Activated Macrophages

 

Abstract

 

Coffee is a popular beverage worldwide with various nutritional benefits. Diterpene cafestol, one of the major components of coffee, contributes to its beneficial effects through various biological activities such as chemopreventive, antitumorigenic, hepatoprotective, antioxidative and antiinflammatory effects. In this study, we examined the precise molecular mechanism of the antiinflammatory activity of cafestol in terms of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production, a critical factor involved in inflammatory responses. Cafestol inhibited both PGE2 production and the mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 cells. Interestingly, this compound strongly decreased the translocation of c-Jun into the nucleus and AP-1 mediated luciferase activity. In kinase assays using purified extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) or immunoprecipitated ERK prepared from LPS-treated cells in the presence or absence of cafestol, it was found that this compound can act as an inhibitor of ERK2 but not of ERK1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MEK 1). Therefore our data suggest that cafestol may be a novel ERK inhibitor with AP-1-targeted inhibitory activity against PGE2 production in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells.

 

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/33/1/33_1_128/_article

 

-------------------------------------

Suppressive effects of the kahweol and cafestol on cyclooxygenase-2 expression in macrophages.

 

Abstract

 

Inducible cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) has been suggested to play a role in the processes of inflammation and carcinogenesis. Recent studies have shown the chemoprotective effects of kahweol and cafestol, which are coffee-specific diterpenes. This study investigated the effects of kahweol and cafestol on the expression of COX-2 in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Kahweol and cafestol significantly suppressed the LPS-induced production of prostaglandin E2, COX-2 protein and mRNA expression, and COX-2 promoter activity in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, kahweol blocked the LPS-induced activation of NF-κB by preventing IκB degradation and inhibiting IκB kinase activity. These results will provide new insights into the anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties of kahweol and cafestol.

 

PMID: 15225655

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15225655

 

--------------------------------

 

Natural diterpenes from coffee, cafestol and kahweol induce apoptosis through regulation of specificity protein 1 expression in human malignant pleural mesothelioma

 

Abstract

 

Background

 

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly aggressive cancer with a very poor prognosis. Several clinical studies such as immunotherapy, gene therapy and molecular targeting agents have been tried for treatment of malignant mesothelioma, however, there is no application for effective clinical treatment. Coffee has various biological functions such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic activities. The therapeutic activities of the bioactive compounds in coffee was sugested to influence intracellular signaling of MPM. Regarding to the cancer-related functions, In this study, suppression of Sp1 protein level followed by induction of MSTO-211H cell apoptosis by cafestol and kahweol were investigated in order to determine Sp1's potential as a significant target for human MPM therapy as well.

 

https://jbiomedsci.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1423-0127-19-60

 

----------------------------------------

Anti-Angiogenic and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Kahweol, a Coffee Diterpene

 

Abstract

 

Background

 

Epidemiological studies have shown that unfiltered coffee consumption is associated with a low incidence of cancer. This study aims to identify the effects of kahweol, an antioxidant diterpene contained in unfiltered coffee, on angiogenesis and key inflammatory molecules.

 

Methodology/Principal Findings

 

The experimental procedures included in vivo angiogenesis assays (both the chicken and quail choriallantoic membrane assay and the angiogenesis assay with fluorescent zebrafish), the ex vivo mouse aortic ring assay and the in vitro analysis of the effects of treatment of human endothelial cells with kahweol in cell growth, cell viability, cell migration and zymographic assays, as well as the tube formation assay on Matrigel. Additionally, two inflammation markers were determined, namely, the expression levels of cyclooxygenase 2 and the levels of secreted monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. We show for the first time that kahweol is an anti-angiogenic compound with inhibitory effects in two in vivo and one ex vivo angiogenesis models, with effects on specific steps of the angiogenic process: endothelial cell proliferation, migration, invasion and tube formation on Matrigel. We also demonstrate the inhibitory effect of kahweol on the endothelial cell potential to remodel extracellular matrix by targeting two key molecules involved in the process, MMP-2 and uPA. Finally, the anti-inflammatory potential of this compound is demonstrated by its inhibition of both COX-2 expression and MCP-1 secretion in endothelial cells.

 

Conclusion/Significance

 

Taken together, our data indicate that, indeed, kahweol behaves as an anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic compound with potential use in antitumoral therapies. These data may contribute to the explanation of the reported antitumoral effects of kahweol, including the recent epidemiological meta-analysis showing that drinking coffee could decrease the risk of certain cancers.

 

 

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023407

Edited by Sibiriak

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Interesting stuff Sibiriak,

On 10/22/2016 at 4:08 AM, Sibiriak said:

I'm wondering why a similar argument wouldn't be valid in relation to cafestol and kahweol:  if your blood lipids are fine, as in the case of most CR practitioners, it would seem that the health benefits of cafestol and kahweol need not be tossed aside out of fear of a possible increase in LDL levels.  (I'm not giving up my polyphenol-rich, lusciously foamy, lipidly-alive Greek coffee!)

Perhaps a bit of wishful thinking going on here, given that the Italian authors of this study [1] found that the deleterious association of "Italian-style" coffee (i.e. filtered by a metal plate with small holes like with espresso or moka pots) with heart disease was independent of plasma lipid levels. 

Paper-filtered coffee has been repeatedly shown to be associated with reduced cardiovascular disease while metal-filtered coffee appears associated with an increased risk, independent of the coffee consumer's cholesterol level. Based on this evidence the safer choice appears clear to me.

--Dean

--------

[1] PoS One. 2015 May 6;10(5):e0126550. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126550.

Espresso coffee consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in a large Italian
cohort.

Grioni S(1), Agnoli C(1), Sieri S(1), Pala V(1), Ricceri F(2), Masala G(3),
Saieva C(3), Panico S(4), Mattiello A(4), Chiodini P(5), Tumino R(6), Frasca
G(6), Iacoviello L(7), de Curtis A(7), Vineis P(8), Krogh V(1).

BACKGROUND: The relationship between coffee consumption and coronary heart
disease (CHD) has been investigated in several studies with discrepant results.
We examined the association between Italian-style (espresso and mocha) coffee
consumption and CHD risk.
METHODS: We investigated 12,800 men and 30,449 women without history of
cardiovascular disease recruited to the EPICOR prospective cohort study. Coffee
consumption was assessed at baseline. In a random sub-cohort of 1472 subjects,
plasma triglycerides, and total, LDL and HDL cholesterol were determined to
investigate the effect of coffee consumption on plasma lipids.
RESULTS: After a mean follow up of 10.9 years, 804 cases of CHD (500 acute
events, 56 fatal events and 248 revascularizations, all first events) were
identified. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for CHD were: 1.18 (95% CI
0.87-1.60) for drinking 1-2 cups/day, 1.37 (95% CI 1.03-1.82) for >2-4 cups/day
and 1.52 (95% CI 1.11-2.07) for over 4 cups/day (P trend <0.001) compared to
reference (<1 cup/day). Plasma triglycerides, and total, LDL and HDL cholesterol 
did not vary significantly (ANOVA) with coffee consumption.
CONCLUSION: Consumption of over 2 cups/day of Italian-style coffee is associated 
with increased CHD risk, but coffee consumption was not associated with plasma
lipid changes, so the adverse effect of consumption appears unrelated to lipid
profile.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126550 
PMCID: PMC4422699
PMID: 25946046  [Indexed for MEDLINE]
 

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Dean,  the Italian study you  cite   doesn't actually undermine my hypothesis as you suggest.  Recall what I wrote:  "if your blood lipids are fine, as in the case of most CR practitioners, it would seem that the health benefits of cafestol and kahweol need not be tossed aside out of fear of a possible increase in LDL levels."

The authors of the Italian study point out that

Quote

although the diterpene concentration of Italian-style coffee is quite high [31], mean cup size in much lower than in many European countries so the dose would not be high enough to affect plasma cholesterol levels, consistent with the findings of our study.

Nowhere in the study is there any argument--or even speculation-- that the diterpenes (cafestol and kahweol) in Italian-style coffee might have some other possible deleterious effect apart from the potential to raise plasma cholesterol levels.  

Thus when the authors conclude,  " the adverse effect of [Italian-style coffee] consumption appears unrelated to lipid profile",  they are  in effect saying that the adverse effect appears  unrelated to diterpene content.

But if not diterpene content,  then what?   Well, the authors explicitly point to caffeine as the likely suspect:

Quote

The detrimental effect of espresso coffee suggested by our study findings could, at least in part, be due to its caffeine content and rapid consumption, which results in a high peak plasma concentration of caffeine.

By contrast, with filtered coffee, the caffeine dose is similar but it is diluted in 140–200 ml of liquid and the beverage is drunk over several minutes. The detrimental effect of espresso coffee is also likely to vary with CYP1A2 genotype [i.e. with genetic differences in caffeine metabolism.]

Edited by Sibiriak

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Sibiriak,

16 minutes ago, Sibiriak said:

"although the diterpene concentration of Italian-style coffee is quite high [31], mean cup size in much lower than in many European countries so the dose would not be high enough to affect plasma cholesterol levels, consistent with the findings of our study."

So the diterpene content wasn't high enough to raise serum cholesterol and the authors doesn't speculate about other potential downsides of diterpenes. But that doesn't mean there aren't other downsides of diterpenes or other compounds in coffee that are removed by a paper filter. 

In short, the positive association between unfiltered coffee and CVD remains unchallenged.

Sure the authors may speculate that this association may be the result of a rapid spike in caffeine level in the blood caused by unfiltered coffee. But that seems like a pretty big stretch, particularly since an average espresso has less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee.

--Dean

 

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1 hour ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Sure the authors may speculate that this association may be the result of a rapid spike in caffeine level in the blood caused by unfiltered coffee. But that seems like a pretty big stretch, particularly since an average espresso has less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. 

 The authors  themselves discuss the relative caffeine levels:

Quote

A standard cup (30 ml) of espresso contains about 100 mg of caffeine [32], while a 225 ml cup of boiled or filtered coffee contains about 135 mg of caffeine [30].

The point they make, however, is  that Italian-style coffee produces higher peak plasma concentration of caffeine compared to filtered coffee in which "the caffeine dose is similar but it is diluted in 140–200 ml of liquid and the beverage is drunk over several minutes. "    

 

1 hour ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

the authors doesn't speculate about other potential downsides of diterpenes. But that doesn't mean there aren't other downsides of diterpenes or other compounds in coffee that are removed by a paper filter. 

Sure, there could be "other potential downsides of diterpenes" that explain the associations found in the Italian study--but the authors did not identify any.    You are, of course, free to present an alternative explanation to that of the authors' and/or  cite something  besides this study to  substantiate such a claim. 

Quote

the positive association between unfiltered coffee and CVD remains unchallenged.

But I wasn't challenging the fact that studies have found an association between unfiltered coffee and CVD. 

Let's back up for a moment.  Earlier in this thread Michael Rae wrote:

Quote

[2015] Turkish, French-press, and other coffee preparation methods do not filter, and such coffee contains diterpenes (notably cafestol and kahweol) that raise LDL cholesterol. They may also raise homocysteine, and have been reported to have inconsistent effects on Lp(a) (either elevating it, or transiently lowering it — nothing beneficial, in any case). This may explain some of the early inconsistency in the cardiovascular effects of coffee in the epidemiological literature. Espresso is also generally unfiltered coffee: the serving size is small enough that most researchers dismiss its importance, but I would urge caution, particularly for heavy consumers. (Coffee diterpenes are also discussed here).

I've never challenged those contentions.   But take a look at the site MR links to discussing diterpenes; here's the full quote:

Quote

Cafestol and kahweol: Filtering out cholesterol boosters [2012]

Coffee drinkers concerned about cholesterol weren't happy about some early study results showing that coffee seems to increase cholesterol levels, and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels in particular. But upon closer inspection, the bad news turned out to be not so bad, because the cholesterol-raising effect seems to be limited to coffee that hasn't been filtered, which includes Turkish coffee, coffee brewed in a French press, and the boiled coffee consumed in Scandinavia.

The cholesterol-raising ingredients in coffee are oily substances called diterpenes, and the two main types in coffee are cafestl (pronounced CAF-es-tol) and kahweol (pronounced KAH-we-awl). They are present either as oily droplets or in the grounds floating in the coffee. But a paper filter traps most of the cafestol and kahweol, so coffee that's been filtered probably has little, if any, effect on cholesterol levels.

The best evidence is for paper filters, but an interesting study published in 2011 showed that filtering methods used in Singapore (the so-called sock method, which uses a cotton-nylon cloth) and India (metal mesh) were also effective at trapping cafestol.

Espresso contains more cafestol and kahweol than paper-filtered coffee, but because it is consumed in smaller amounts, it may not have much of an effect on people's LDL level.

There is a twist to this aspect of the coffee story, because cafestol and kahweol may also have some health benefits that are lost when they're filtered out. The research is in the preliminary stages, but cafestol and kahweol could have some anticancer effects and be good for the liver.


I've never disputed the fact that diterpenes in coffee can raise cholesterol etc., with potential negative implications for cardiovascular health.  And it's undisputed that paper filters effectively remove diterpenes.  But I did notice that Michael completely left out  the important  "twist" identified in the final paragraph.  My aim has been simply to reintroduce that "twist"  into the discussion.    

Since the time that Harvard Medical School article was written, the evidence for positive health benefits from cafestol and kahweol has steadily grown  You can find up-to-date details and references in this recent review:

Cafestol and Kahweol: A Review on Their Bioactivities and Pharmacological Properties (2019)

Yes:

Quote

Since Thelle et al. first found a positive correlation between coffee consumption and serum concentration of total cholesterol and triglycerides in 1983, many studies have supported their findings over the years [15]. It is confirmed that long-term consumption of unfiltered coffee will effectively cause the increase of plasma triacylglycerol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in humans [14]. The two diterpenoids, cafestol and kahweol, are mainly responsible for this effect. Plasma lipids, especially LDL cholesterol, are important factors in promoting the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.

 But:

Quote

Conclusions 

Although cafestol and kahweol have certain adverse effects on raising serum lipids, more attention should be paid to its extensive anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and other potential pharmacological activities (Figure 2).

Cafestol and kahweol can regulate a variety of inflammatory mediators to reduce inflammation.

In addition, the two coffee diterpenes can prevent cancer from occurring by blocking the activation of carcinogens and improving liver detoxification function. They can also inhibit tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and provide a new approach for cancer prevention and treatment.

At present, some mechanism of bioactivities and the difference of cafestol and kahweol are still unclear, as seen in Table 1. Therefore, further studies are needed to clarify the pharmacological effects and mechanisms of action, and solve their safety issues, thereby making the compounds potential multi-target complementary medicines and functional food.

image.png.e8fc4fde9dd0e338af22c817a46b1eff.png

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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Hah, I like my French press coffee better than the filtered varieties (and better than espresso), so I am looking for justification not to change :)

It does appear that diterpenes exhibit anti-tumor propperties, as Sibiriak points out:

Coffee diterpenes kahweol acetate and cafestol synergistically inhibit the proliferation and migration of prostate cancer cells

Background Coffee inhibits the progression of prostate cancer; however, the direct mechanism through which coffee acts on prostate cancer cells remains unclear. This study aimed to identify the key compounds of coffee that possess anti‐cancer effects and to investigate their mechanisms of action. Methods The anti‐proliferation and anti‐migration effects of six potentially active types of coffee compounds, including kahweol acetate, cafestol, caffeine, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and trigonelline hydrochloride, were evaluated using LNCaP, LNCaP‐SF, PC‐3, and DU145 human prostate cancer cells. The synergistic effects of these compounds were also investigated. Apoptosis‐related and epithelial‐mesenchymal transition‐related proteins, androgen receptor in whole cell and in nucleus, and chemokines were assessed. A xenograft study of SCID mice was performed to examine the in vivo effect of coffee compounds. Results Among the evaluated compounds, only kahweol acetate and cafestol inhibited the proliferation and migration of prostate cancer cells in a dose‐dependent manner. The combination treatment involving kahweol acetate and cafestol synergistically inhibited proliferation and migration (combination index <1) with the induction of apoptosis, the inhibition of epithelial‐mesenchymal transition, and decrease in androgen receptor, resulting in the reduction of nuclear androgen receptor in androgen receptor‐positive cells. Moreover, kahweol acetate and cafestol downregulated CCR2 and CCR5 without an increase in their ligands, CCL2 and CCL5. The xenograft study showed that oral administration of kahweol acetate and cafestol significantly inhibited tumor growth. Conclusion Kahweol acetate and cafestol synergistically inhibit the progression of prostate cancer. These coffee compounds may be novel therapeutic candidates for prostate cancer.

 

It also appears that the negative effect of coffee consumption (and the effect of other substances) is correlated with CYP1A2 genotype, despite the 2018 UK Biobank study, which appears to be a bit of an outlier:


CYP1A2 genotype modifies the association between coffee intake and the risk of hypertension

These data show that the risk of hypertension associated with coffee intake varies according to CYP1A2 genotype. Carriers of slow *1F allele are at increased risk and should thus abstain from coffee, whereas individuals with *1A/*1A genotype can safely drink coffee.

 

Coffee, CYP1A2 Genotype, and Risk of Myocardial Infarction

In summary, consistent with most case-control studies, we found that increased coffee intake is associated with an increased risk of nonfatal MI. The association between coffee and MI was found only among individuals with the slow CYP1A2*1F allele, which impairs caffeine metabolism, suggesting that caffeine plays a role in the association.





 

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3 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

 I've never disputed the fact that diterpenes in coffee can raise cholesterol etc., with potential negative implications for cardiovascular health.  And it's undisputed that paper filters effectively remove diterpenesBut I did notice that Michael completely left out  the important  "twist" identified in the final paragraph.  My aim has been simply to reintroduce that "twist"  into the discussion.    

Fair enough. I agree that diterpenes appear to have interesting, potentially positive effects in vitro, including anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory actions. The question in my mind is whether these translate into demonstrable benefits relative to filtered coffee with its much reduced levels of diterpenes. 

In other words, the double-edged nature of diterpenes has been known since before the turn of the millenium (e.g. [1]). But I've yet to see evidence from human prospective studies or randomized trials that demonstrate unfiltered coffee high in diterpenes is any more protective against cancer (or better in other respects) than filtered coffee.

Until there is such evidence of tangible benefits of unfiltered coffee, it seems to me that the association of unfiltered coffee with increased risk of CVD and filtered coffee with reduced CVD risk make filtered coffee the safer choice.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not rooting again unfiltered coffee. In fact, I'd be happy to be shown convincing evidence of its extra benefits and negligible risks. I really do enjoy a good espresso and used to drink several shots per day back when my place of work had a high-end espresso machine.

--Dean

-----------

[1] Carcinogenesis. 1998 Aug;19(8):1369-75.

The coffee-specific diterpenes cafestol and kahweol protect against aflatoxin
B1-induced genotoxicity through a dual mechanism.

Cavin C(1), Holzhäuser D, Constable A, Huggett AC, Schilter B.

Author information: 
(1)Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland.

The diterpenes cafestol and kahweol (C&K) have been identified in animal models
as two potentially chemoprotective agents present in green and roasted coffee
beans. It has been postulated that these compounds may act as blocking agents by 
producing a co-ordinated modulation of multiple enzymes involved in carcinogen
detoxification. In this study, we investigated the effects of C&K against the
covalent binding of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) metabolites to DNA. Male Sprague-Dawley
rats were treated with increasing amounts of a mixture of C&K in the diet (0-6200
p.p.m.) for 28 and 90 days. A dose-dependent inhibition of AFB1 DNA-binding was
observed using S9 and microsomal subcellular fractions from C&K-treated rat liver
in an in vitro binding assay. Significant inhibition was detected at 2300 p.p.m. 
and maximal reduction of DNA adduct formation to nearly 50% of the control value 
was achieved with 6200 p.p.m. of dietary C&K. Two complementary mechanisms may
account for the chemopreventive action of cafestol and kahweol against aflatoxin 
B1 in rats. A decrease in the expression of the rat activating cytochrome P450s
(CYP2C11 and CYP3A2) was observed, as well as a strong induction of the
expression of the glutathione-S-transferase (GST) subunit GST Yc2, which is known
to detoxify highly the most genotoxic metabolite of AFB1. These data and the
previously demonstrated effects of C&K against the development of
7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced carcinogenesis at various tissue
sites suggest the potential widespread effect of these coffee components against 
chemical carcinogenesis.

DOI: 10.1093/carcin/19.8.1369 
PMID: 9744531  [Indexed for MEDLINE]
 

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Well, I'm just an ol' country boy, so my reasoning might be subpar, but (actually, I'm city, and not that old, and I'd have to answer to 'man', instead of 'boy', but I like that expression).

To get my biases out of the way, I much prefer the taste of French press coffee, love turkish coffee and indulge in an occasional espresso - so there's nothing I'd love more than for science to prove that it's not any worse from a health point of view than paper filtered coffee.

That said, all this speculation about diterpenes are a classic example of biomechanistic reasoning that one should IMHO be deeply skeptical about. Because more often than not, such reasoning is later shown to be oversimplified, wrong, or simply irrelevant and further research turns whatever conclusion one rabbit-holed oneself down to, into the exact opposite.

It strikes me, that this is a prime instance of when the trusty old 'black box' approach is useful. Coffee IN (form A: filtered; form B: un/poorly filtered) - BLACK BOX MAGIC - Health Results OUT. If the results for unfiltered show deleterious health outcomes compared to paper filtered, it really doesn't matter why - maybe diterpenes, maybe not, maybe caffeine, maybe the devil - the outcome is what matters. And in that context talking about anti-cancer health benefits of diterpenes seems orthogonal to the key concern - immolating oneself in a fire unfortunatly kills you, and the fact that it really clears up the acne is of little benefit at that point.

What matters is what is the ultimate outcome - best of course would be all cause mortality. If unfiltered coffee kills you faster, then that's a good enough reason to drink mostly paper filtered coffee.

So for the time being, I'll read with interest all the fascinating speculation as to what is going on inside the black box, but I'll read it while drinking a nice mug of paper filtered coffee. YMMV.

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A couple of points:

While there appears to be evidence that across a large population there is a raise in total serum cholesterol correlating with diterpenes intake, I didn't see anything specifying if such raise was uniform across LDL and HDL, or not. It seems as if it would matter. I didn't see anything specifically addressing mortality risk, either (coffee in general appears to reduce it).

Also, as Sibiriak points out, what does it all mean for someone like Dean, who has already very low lipids levels, low RHR and generally low CVD risk? In such a case, something like prostate cancer would be of greater concern and as per the studies mentioned above, unfiltered coffee appears to reduce the risk.

To place this in perspective, I believe that I achieved a rather significant drop in total cholesterol (to the low 150s mg/dL or less than 4.0 mmol/L, with basically 1x1 LDL/HDL ratio) and triglycerides (51mg/dL or 0.6 mmol/L) by dramatically reducing my olive oil intake and getting close to 1x1 ratio for Omega 3/Omega 6 intake (flax and chia seeds, mostly). I don't think I have made any other dramatic changes, although I cannot be certain it is the reduction in olive oil consumption, of course. But there is some evidence to support the notion that olive oil, while better than animal fat or vegetable oils, is still detrimental. Yet, many here persist in consuming it.

Having said this, I did order a couple of reusable cloth filters and I plan to filter my French press coffee through them. I am not sure that I will actually do it, since I'd like to read up a little more on the subject, but I'll try it while deciding. I chose cloth because I try to stick to reusable products and based on studies like this one:

Cholesterol-raising diterpenes in types of coffee commonly consumed in Singapore, Indonesia and India and associations with blood lipids: A survey and cross sectional study

Edited by Ron Put

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On 12/26/2019 at 9:08 PM, Ron Put said:

Also, as Sibiriak points out, what does it all mean for someone like Dean, who has already very low lipids levels, low RHR and generally low CVD risk? In such a case, something like prostate cancer would be of greater concern and as per the studies mentioned above, unfiltered coffee appears to reduce the risk.

That's the point, if the effects of a molecule are double-edged, then it makes sense that we choose the aspect which is more beneficial to our individual risk scenario.

Also, I wonder if there have been any studies on decaffeinated coffee. That would rule out caffeine (most of it) from the risk model and would tend to isolate the effects of diterpenes. I usually drink decaffeinated unfiltered espresso, pure or diluted, although I use caffeine when I have to drive long distances.

By the way, there are some expresso machines in Italy (usually for domestic usage) working with paper filters cartridges, like this one. they are called 'cialde'. 

image.png.a43e588091d72cb25fe7e396c4606e83.png

Whereas other espresso machines come in capsules like this, which are perforated just prior to producing coffee, presumably they are the equivalent of unfiltered coffee, but I'm not 100% sure. and of course there is the concern of plastic material with hot water.

image.png.810b99ad8cdfa4b21dea3b2550e8b53b.png

 

 

 

 

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Consumption of a boiled Greek type of coffee is associated with improved endothelial function: The Ikaria Study
There was a linear increase in FMD according to coffee consumption (‘low’: 4.33 ± 2.51% vs ‘moderate’: 5.39 ± 3.09% vs ‘high’: 6.47 ± 2.72%; p = 0.032). Moreover, subjects consuming mainly a boiled Greek type of coffee had a significantly higher FMD compared with those consuming other types of coffee beverages (p = 0.035).


Beneficial effects of acute consumption of boiled Greek type of coffee on endothelial function and peripheral vascular properties

Doesn't this first study basically go counter to the " Espresso coffee consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in a large Italian
cohort" one? Obviously FMD ≠ cardiovascular disease but still, you would think that highest consumption in habitual unfiltered coffee drinkers would result in worsened cardiovascular function.

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