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Even a little coffee may up heart risk

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5:51pm, September 19, 2001

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.

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