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A randomized controlled trial was conducted to examine the effects of coffee (as commonly drunk in Britain) on blood pressure and plasma lipids in healthy subjects. Fifty-four subjects followed three regimens successively, the order being randomized according to a Latin square design: five or more cups of coffee daily for 4 weeks; five or more cups of decaffeinated coffee daily for 4 weeks but no ordinary coffee; no coffee for 4 weeks. Coffee appeared to cause a small rise (of 3 mm Hg) in recumbent systolic blood pressure; this effect was less than, and obscured by, changes induced by posture and mild stress. No consistent changes attributable to coffee were found in diastolic blood pressure or pulse rate. Small changes in the expected directions occurred in plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI (decrease), and in total cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (increase), but none of these were statistically significant. The effect of coffee on risk of heart disease in Britain is probably small.


Journal article


Eur J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





477 - 483


Adolescent, Adult, Blood Pressure, Caffeine, Coffee, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Lipids, Male, Middle Aged