Drinking espressos could cause higher cholesterol levels in men but not in women, a study suggests.
Previous studies have linked naturally occurring chemicals in coffee with higher levels of cholesterol in the blood, an issue which has been linked to heart problems, including strokes.
Academics from Norway examined the link between brewing method and cholesterol by looking at the way people drink coffee and assessing the levels of cholesterol in their blood.
The research examined information from more than 21,000 people aged over 40 from Tromso in Norway.
Analysis showed links between coffee and cholesterol varied depending on brewing method, with significant differences across sexes.
People who drank three to five espressos a day were more likely to have higher levels of cholesterol in the blood, compared with those who did not drink espressos.
Men who drank three to five espressos appeared to have higher concentrations of cholesterol than women.
Participants who drank over six cups of cafetiere coffee raised levels compared with those who did now.
Drinking more than six cups of filtered coffee was linked with higher levels of cholesterol in women, but not in men.
There was no significant link between instant coffee and cholesterol levels, the study found.
“The most important finding was that espresso coffee consumption was significantly associated with increased S-TC (serum total cholesterol),” the authors said.
“Coffee is the most frequently consumed central stimulant worldwide.
“Because of the high consumption of coffee, even small health effects can have considerable health consequences.
“Increased knowledge on espresso coffee’s association with serum cholesterol will improve the recommendations regarding coffee consumption.”