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Validity of animal models for the cholesterol-raising effects of coffee diterpenes in human subjects

  • Baukje de Roos (a1), Janet K. Sawyer (a2), Martijn B. Katan (a1) and Lawrence L. Rudel (a2)
Abstract

Cafestol and kahweol, coffee lipids present in unfiltered coffee brews, potently increase LDL-cholesterol concentration in human subjects. We searched for an animal species in which cafestol similarly increases LDL-cholesterol. Such an animal model could be used subsequently as a model to study the mechanism of action of cafestol and kahweol. Cafestol and kahweol increased serum lipids in African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), cebus (Cebus apella) and rhesus (Macaca mulatta) monkeys, hamsters, rats and gerbils differently from the increase in human subjects. In African green monkeys, the rise in total cholesterol was less pronounced than that in human subjects. In addition, the increase in total cholesterol was predominantly due to a rise in HDL-cholesterol rather than LDL-cholesterol. Thus, the rise in plasma lipids might illustrate the mechanism in these monkeys rather than the mechanism in human subjects. In other animal species, cafestol and kahweol did not raise cholesterol consistently. The variability in effects on serum lipids could not be explained by the mode of administration or dose of diterpenes, nor by the amount of cholesterol in the diet. In conclusion, we did not find an animal model in which cafestol and kahweol elevate plasma lipoproteins to the same extent as in human subjects. For the time being, therefore, studies on the mechanism of action should be done preferably in human subjects.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding Author: Professor Martijn B. Katan, fax +31 317 485369
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TP Carr , CJ Andresen & LL Rudel (1993) Enzymatic determination of triglyceride, free cholesterol, and total cholesterol in tissue lipid extracts. Clinical Biochemistry 26, 3942.

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WM Ratnayake , G Pelletier , R Hollywood , S Malcolm & B Stavric (1995) Investigation of the effect of coffee lipids on serum cholesterol in hamsters. Food Chemistry and Toxicology 33, 195201.

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R Urgert , S Meyboom , M Kuilman , H Rexwinkel , MN Vissers , M Klerk & MB Katan (1996) Comparison of effect of cafetiere and filtered coffee on serum concentrations of liver aminotransferases and lipids: six month randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal 313, 13621366.

R Urgert , G van der Weg , T Kosmeijer-Schuil , P van de Bovenkamp , R Hovenier & MB Katan (1995) Levels of the cholesterol-elevating diterpenes cafestol and kahweol in various coffee brews. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 43, 21672172.

M Van Dusseldorp , MB Katan , T van Vliet , PN Demacker & AF Stalenhoef (1991) Cholesterol-raising factor from boiled coffee does not pass a paper filter. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis 11, 586593.

PL Zock , MB Katan , MP Merkus , M van Dusseldorp & JL Harryvan (1990) Effect of a lipid-rich fraction from boiled coffee on serum cholesterol. Lancet 335, 12351237.

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Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  • ISSN: 0029-6651
  • EISSN: 1475-2719
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society
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