Is filtered coffee better for your health than non-filtered?



As one of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee’s effects on our general health is widely investigated by scientists and almost daily we find results of new studies. In general, most studies find coffee beneficial for our health and longevity. But, the way coffee is brewed shows quite a significant difference in its effects on our health, depending on the health issues we suffer from. So, the question whether filtered coffee is better for our health than unfiltered coffee does not have a clear answer.


Filtered coffee is considered coffee filtered by using a paper filter creating a drip-brewed beverage; unfiltered coffee means that the ground coffee beans are simmered in almost boiling water.


Norwegian scientists, who examined 508,747 men and women aged 20–79 found that unfiltered coffee was associated with higher mortality than filtered brew. On the other hand, they found that filtered brew was associated with lower mortality than no coffee at all. The study author Professor Dag S. Thelle, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden said that their study shows that drinking coffee could reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and death but only if the coffee is filtered. Unfiltered coffee contains substances such as cafestol that increase blood cholesterol level, increasing the danger of heart disease. So, as long as you filter your coffee, you get all the benefits and no danger of heart attacks.


But, it is not that simple. The same diterphenes such as cafestol and kahweol that boost bad cholesterol are very important antioxidants, known for liver detoxification and in general very good for liver health. When we filter coffee, we remove them, effectively removing an important coffee ingredient for those with liver disease. Also, some studies found that drinking coffee offers up to 70 percent lower risk of liver cirrhosis.


Regardless, most scientists agree that filter coffee is better for us than unfiltered, including the 20-year long observational study, which also found that unfiltered coffee was associated with higher mortality than filtered. People that drank filtered brew in general lived longer than people who did not drink coffee at all. 


One of the papers concludes that while coffee increases coronary risk, this risk is balanced by the lower risk of other conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver.

coffee was associated with higher mortality than filtered. People that drank filtered brew, in general, lived longer than people who did no also found that unfiltered coffee was associated with higher mortality than filtered. People that drank the filtered brew, in general, lived longer than people who did not drink coffee at all. 


Confused? There are some general guidelines that might help. If you are a healthy person with no health issues, most scientists agree that 4-5 cups of coffee a day are good for your general health and longevity. The method of brewing is mostly up to you. Adding sugar and cream largely destroy all the benefits coffee might offer. If you have liver disease, unfiltered coffee might offer you benefits that filtered coffee does not. If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, enjoy your coffee but filter it with a good quality paper filter.