Nothing jolts the body into action in the morning like a strong cup of coffee. However, people concerned about heart health may want to limit their intake, a new trial suggests.
Several oily coffee-bean components can elevate cholesterol in a person's blood. Although the paper filters of drip coffeemakers largely eliminate those oils (SN: 2/4/95, p. 72), drinking even filtered coffee can increase blood concentrations of the amino acid homocysteine, another risk indicator (SN: 1/11/97, p. 22).
Norwegian scientists have now investigated these coffee-borne factors in a 6-week trial of 191 nonsmokers. All had been downing an average of 5 cups of coffee daily.
Benedicte Christensen of Ullevl University Hospital in Oslo and her colleagues randomly assigned equal numbers of these people to give up coffee altogether, to limit their intake to 1 to 3 cups of filtered coffee per day, or to drink at least 4 cups daily. At the beginning, middle, and end of the trial, Christens