The coffee diterpene cafestol increases plasma triacylglycerol by increasing the production rate of large VLDL apolipoprotein B in healthy normolipidemic subjects

B de Roos, M J Caslake, A F Stalenhoef, D Bedford, P N Demacker, M B Katan, C J Packard

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    Background: Cafestol is a diterpene in unfiltered coffee that raises plasma triacylglycerol in humans.

    Objective: We studied whether cafestol increases plasma triacylglycerol by increasing the production rate or by decreasing the fractional catabolic rate of VLDL1 [Svedberg flotation unit (Sf) 60–400] apolipoprotein (apo) B. In addition, we studied the effect of cafestol on the composition of VLDL1 and VLDL2 (Sf 20–60).

    Design: Eight healthy normolipidemic men were administered a daily dose of 75 mg cafestol for 2 wk. A bolus injection of 7 mg L-[5,5,5-2H3]leucine/kg body wt was given after a baseline period with no cafestol and again after treatment with cafestol. We derived kinetic constants to describe the metabolism of VLDL1 apo B by using a multicompartmental model.

    Results: Cafestol significantly increased plasma triacylglycerol by 31% or 0.32 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.03, 0.61); the increase was due mainly to a nonsignificant rise in VLDL1 triacylglycerol of 57% or 0.23 mmol/L (95% CI: −0.02, 0.48). Cafestol significantly increased the mean rate of VLDL1 apo B production by 80% or 755 mg/d (95% CI: 0.2, 5353), whereas it did not significantly change the mean fractional catabolic rate of VLDL1 apo B (mean increase of 3 pools/d; 95% CI: −4, 10]). Cafestol did not change the composition of VLDL1. A significant increase in the ratio of VLDL2 cholesteryl ester to triacylglycerol indicates that VLDL2 became enriched with cholesteryl esters at the cost of triacylglycerol.

    Conclusion: Cafestol increases plasma triacylglycerol by increasing the production rate of VLDL1 apo B, probably via increased assembly of VLDL1 in the liver.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-52
    Number of pages8
    JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001



    • healthy men
    • cafestol
    • VLDL1 apolipoprotein B
    • catabolism
    • VLDL composition
    • unfiltered coffee
    • cafetiere coffee
    • French-press coffee
    • triacylglycerol
    • triglyceride

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