What Is Cafestol in Coffee?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

Do you love coffee but want to know more about what goes into your cup? If so, you’ll be interested in learning about cafestol, one of the main compounds found in coffee.

This blog post will explore what cafestol is and how it affects your daily cup of joe.

Closeup image of a young couple holding and drinking coffee together in cafe

What is Cafestol?

Cafestol is a diterpenoid chemical present in coffee beans, most typically in unfiltered coffees such as Turkish coffee, french press coffee, or even coffee made with a metal coffee filter. It has been linked to a number of possible health advantages, including slowing the development and migration of prostate cancer cells.

Cafestol also elevates liver enzymes, causing health problems and increasing LDL cholesterol levels. Despite this, studies have identified two compounds in coffee – cafestol and caffeic acid – which could lead to the developing of new medicines or treatments.

Cafestol is believed to have potential medicinal uses, and further research is being conducted to explore its effects.

Where is Cafestol Found?

Cafestol is chiefly found in Coffea arabica (Coffee) beans. Depending on how the beans are processed and brewed, it is present in varying levels. Both oils from arabica beans contain both cafestol and kahweol, and robusta beans contain cafestol.

Therefore, drinking coffee can be a natural source of cafestol for those who enjoy the beverage. It is important to note that the amount of cafestol in coffee varies depending on the brewing style used.


What are the Health Benefits of Cafestol?

Cafestol has been identified as a potential health benefit due to its ability to stimulate insulin secretion and increase glucose uptake in muscle cells. As coffee drinkers know, the beverage is already linked to health benefits, such as a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improved cognitive function.

Studies suggest that cafestol is responsible for some of the positive effects of coffee, making it an important bioactive compound. In addition to improving glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, cafestol may also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

This could lead to improved heart health and a decreased risk of certain types of cancer. As with any substance, some potential side effects are associated with cafestol, so it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before adding it to your diet.

Sweet coffee aroma, coffee beans and morning coffee

What are the Side Effects of Cafestol?

Cafestol has been linked to several potential side effects, including elevated cholesterol levels and increased cancer risk.

Cafestol is known to raise LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (or “good”) cholesterol levels. Studies have also suggested that cafestol consumption may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.

Additionally, there is some evidence that cafestol may be linked to increased inflammation in the body and can potentially worsen existing digestive issues. Therefore, it is important to consider all potential risks before consuming any caffeinated beverage that contains cafestol.

How Does Cafestol Affect Cholesterol Levels?

Cafestol has been found to increase cholesterol levels in humans. Studies have shown that it affects the body’s ability to metabolize and regulate cholesterol. Cafestol is responsible for the oil in roasted coffee beans, which can cause LDL cholesterol levels to rise when ingested.

Interestingly, it has also been suggested that cafestol may have some health benefits, despite its potential negative impacts on cholesterol. A meta-analysis of controlled studies found that moderate coffee consumption may have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health.

Further research is needed to determine the full effects of cafestol on cholesterol levels and its potential health benefits.

Are There Any Natural Sources of Cafestol?

The answer is yes. Some other plants contain cafestol, including olive oil, coconut oil, and some vegetables, such as cabbage and cauliflower. In addition, certain types of jujube fruit also have small amounts of cafestol. While these foods may not be as rich in cafestol as coffee is, they can still provide some of its beneficial components without the side effects associated with higher doses.

Can Cafestol Help Fight Cancer?

Cafestol has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, and recent research suggests that it may be beneficial in fighting off certain types of cancer. Studies have found that coffee’s high diterpenes content, cafestol, and kahweol, is inversely associated with the reported risk of colorectal cancer.

In addition, kahweol acetate and cafestol synergistically inhibit prostate cancer progression. Furthermore, diterpenes kahweol and cafestol stimulate enzymes that deactivate carcinogens, block enzymes that activate them and support antioxidant effects.

Thus, coffee consumption may lower the risk of some types of cancers. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential of cafestol in cancer prevention and treatment.

What Are the Potential Uses of Cafestol in Medicine?

Cafestol has been studied for its potential uses in medicine. Studies have shown that cafestol can increase insulin secretion when glucose is added and also increase glucose uptake, making it a potentially useful antidiabetic agent.

In addition, cafestol has demonstrated anti-osteoclastogenesis activity, which could be beneficial in treating osteoporosis. Animal studies have also shown that cafestol can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and may even help fight cancer.

While more research is needed to fully understand the potential uses of cafestol in medicine, these initial findings suggest that it could be a promising natural remedy for various conditions.

What Are the Safety Precautions to Consider When Taking Cafestol?

When taking cafestol, it is important to take safety precautions to ensure the best results. Cafestol naturally occurs in coffee beans but can be extracted and taken as a supplement.

When taking cafestol in supplement form, it is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a doctor first. It is also important to be aware that cafestol can interact with certain medications, so it is best to check with a doctor before taking it.

Additionally, some research has indicated that cafestol may have anti-angiogenic properties when taken in higher doses, so it is important to stick to the recommended dosage to avoid any potential side effects.


In conclusion, cafestol is a natural diterpene found in coffee beans with numerous health benefits. It has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, fight cancer, and have other potential medical uses. While some side effects are associated with consuming cafestol, these can be managed by limiting consumption and following safety precautions. As such, cafestol is a great natural supplement to add to one’s diet and can be safely consumed in moderation.


All of the information provided was based on several studies. Since these sources were used in multiple sections of this article, we decided to add these sources here for further reading.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.