Decaffeinated coffee has become for years an extremely interesting alternative for those who want to continue enjoying their cup of coffee in the morning or in the snack, but nevertheless they can not or do not want to drink regular coffee, either because it excites them a lot , because they have it contraindicated (for example, in case of high blood pressure), or because they simply do not like it.
It is a drink with the same bitter taste - compared to the traditional drink of coffee -. What, unlike the original, to the beans with which it is made has been extracted part of the caffeine, which is one of its main exciting substances.
However, we must not forget something fundamental. Although decaffeinated coffee has been extracted caffeine, this does not mean that it has been decaffeinated one hundred percent. That is, for the moment, no method used during the extraction process is able to eliminate caffeine from the grains at all.
In fact, while a regular cup of coffee contains approximately 100 mg. of caffeine, a cup of decaffeinated coffee holds about 2 mg. of caffeine. It is, as we see, a certainly insignificant amount, but that could still continue excessive result in case the consumption of caffeine is contraindicated.
Does decaffeinated coffee raise blood cholesterol levels?
In the year 2005 A study carried out by the Fuqua Heart Center and the Piedmonton-Merce Center for Health and Learning was published, according to which decaffeinated coffee could cause an increase in LDL cholesterol levels , the popularly known as bad cholesterol , by elevating the values of a specific type of fat that is linked to the metabolic syndrome.
During the study, which lasted 3 months, a total of 187 people participated, randomly assigned to three different groups: one group drank between three and six cups of coffee with caffeine per day; another group drank between three and six cups of decaffeinated coffee a day; and the third group, of control, did not drink any coffee.
The scientists measured the levels of the cardiac health indicators both before and after the study of the participants, in addition to measuring the level of caffeine in the blood. Among other aspects, they took into account parameters such as LDL and HDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose, insulin, heart rate, apolipoprotein B (associated with LDL) and high density lipoprotein 2 (HDL2).
While the scientists did not find significant changes in both insulin levels and blood glucose, after 3 months of drinking coffee the group that took decaffeinated experienced an increase in fatty acids , increasing the total amount of fat in the blood by 18%, not being altered in the other two groups.
In addition, in the group that took decaffeinated coffee, people who were not overweight (that is, a body mass index greater than 25), HDL2 levels decreased by about 30%. If we consider that HDL2 is a type of HDL whose high levels are associated with a low risk of heart disease, it seems that decaffeinated coffee had a clearly negative effect on the cardiovascular health of those who consumed it regularly.
So, decaffeinated coffee is not as healthy as regular coffee?
The truth is that in the scientific community there is some discrepancy about this. And not only about whether normal coffee is healthier than decaffeinated coffee, but about whether coffee itself is adequate.
Fundamentally because there are conflicting studies between them, which on the one hand confirm that coffee helps reduce cholesterol levels, while others found their elevation.
For example, in the year 1991 an essay found that switching from regular coffee to decaffeinated increased levels of LDL cholesterol in plasma, as well as apolipoprotein B. However, in the year 1994, a new trial in healthy young adults (in which 119 people participated) he observed that the change from normal to decaffeinated coffee had no effect on cholesterol elevation.
However, a few years later, a meta-analysis of different controlled studies on the effects of coffee on cholesterol. And it was found that two compounds of coffee (known as cafestol and kahweol), could decrease bile acids and neutral sterols, leading to an increase in cholesterol. This was also verified another study .
But the harmful effects of these two compounds would only be observed if decaffeinated coffee - or normal coffee - is taken in high quantities.
Therefore, in the absence of any type of contraindication, normal or decaffeinated coffee can be taken without excess, not exceeding 2-3 cups per day.