Coffee is one of the most researched components of the diet and research suggests that a moderate intake of coffee may reduce incidences of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and CVD mortality risk1-4.
Several studies have shown a potential 'protective effect' of coffee consumption on a number of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation, cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke1-4.
In 2021, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) included coffee for the first time in its updated guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice, stating that ‘moderate coffee consumption (3-4 cups per day) is probably not harmful, perhaps even moderately beneficial’5.
In relation to cholesterol levels, the method of coffee preparation is the main factor to consider. Trials using filtered coffee demonstrate virtually no effect on serum cholesterol, whilst consumption of unfiltered coffee can increase serum cholesterol levels6,7. However, the effects on cholesterol levels are transient6.
The mechanisms underlying the associations between coffee consumption and reduced risk of stroke, and potential associations with risk factors for coronary heart disease, need further investigation. Caffeine is unlikely to be solely responsible for the observed effects1-4,6-8.
The content in this Topic Overview was last edited in November 2023. Papers in the Latest Research section and further resources are added regularly.