Abstract: A high plasma total homocysteine concentration is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Consumption of unfiltered or filtered coffee raises total homocysteine concentrations in healthy volunteers. Caffeine might be a factor that elevates the total homocysteine concentration, because it may inhibit the conversion of homocysteine to cysteine by acting as a vitamin B6 antagonist. Hence, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of filter coffee and instant coffee consumption on the fasting plasma homocysteine levels of healthy female volunteers, who are non-coffee drinkers. Nine healthy female volunteers between 18-22yrs, who are non-coffee drinkers were selected. Filter coffee and instant coffee powder, which are 100 % coffee as per label were selected, prepared and standardized. Supplementation period lasted for five weeks. The volunteers were provided with 400ml (400mg caffeine) of filter coffee per day per volunteer for the first period of two weeks and to the same group, after a week of washout period, 500ml (402mg caffeine) of instant coffee per day per volunteer for the next two weeks. The plasma fasting homocysteine concentration was estimated on the blood collected before and after the supplementation of coffee groups. There was a significant increase in the fasting plasma homocysteine levels of both the groups after two weeks of coffee consumption. This increase was statistically significant at 5 %level. But when the increase in the fasting plasma homocysteine levels between two groups was compared, there was no significant difference at 5 %level. It could be concluded from the study that consumption of filter coffee and instant coffee for a period of two weeks had an effect on the fasting plasma homocysteine levels of healthy female volunteers. No difference between the two groups could be due to equal amount of caffeine intake. Elevated plasma homocysteine levels are reported to be a positive risk factor in CHD.
Keywords: homocysteine, filter coffee, instant coffee, caffeine, CHD