Habitual coffee and tea consumption and cardiometabolic biomarkers in the UK biobank: The role of beverage types and genetic variation

Marilyn C. Cornelis*, Rob M. van Dam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Mechanisms linking habitual consumption of coffee and tea to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases remain unclear. Objectives: We leveraged dietary, genetic, and biomarker data collected from the UK Biobank to investigate the role of different varieties of coffee and tea in cardiometabolic health. Methods: We included data from ≤447,794 participants aged 37–73 y in 2006–2010 who provided a blood sample and completed questionnaires regarding sociodemographic factors, medical history, diet, and lifestyle. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine the association between coffee or tea consumption and blood concentrations of glycated hemoglobin, fasting glucose, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, fasting triglycerides (TGs), apoA-1, apoB, lipoprotein-a, and C-reactive protein (CRP). Lifestyle and genetic factors affecting caffeine metabolism, responses, or intake were tested for interactions with beverage intake in relation to biomarker concentrations. Results: Compared with coffee nonconsumers, each additional cup of coffee was significantly associated with higher total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol concentrations and lower TG and CRP concentrations in both men and women (P-trend < 0.002). Higher consumption of espresso coffee (≥2 compared with 0 cups/d) was associated with higher LDL cholesterol in men (β: 0.110 mmol/L; 95% CI: 0.058, 0.163 mmol/L) and women (β: 0.161 mmol/L; 95% CI: 0.088, 0.234 mmol/L), whereas no substantial association was observed for instant coffee. Compared with tea nonconsumers, higher tea consumption was associated with lower total and LDL cholesterol and apoB and higher HDL cholesterol (P-trend < 0.002); these associations were similar for black and green tea. Associations were not modified by genetics. Conclusions: In the UK Biobank, consumption of certain coffee brews such as espresso had unfavorable associations with blood lipids, whereas consumption of tea had favorable associations. Findings were not modified by genetic variants affecting caffeine metabolism, suggesting a role of noncaffeine constituents of these beverages in cardiometabolic health. J Nutr 2020;150:2772–2788.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2772-2788
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Biomarkers
  • Caffeine
  • Cholesterol
  • Coffee
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Glucose
  • Tea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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