Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.49(4) > 1081443

Lee, Son, Jang, and Park: Coffee and metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis



Coffee is the most frequently consumed food item in South Korea after rice and cabbage. Coffee contains various substances, including caffeine, cafestol, kahweol, chlorogenic acid, and many other known and unknown ingredients with some health benefits. Especially, cumulative evidence has shown that regular coffee use is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, although limited and inconsistent data are available regarding metabolic syndrome.


This study reviewed all available scientific and epidemiologic evidence on coffee consumption, metabolic syndrome, and the association between them. Most epidemiologic research regarding this association was of a cross-sectional design, and a few case-control and cohort studies were available. We conducted meta-analysis with 11 observational studies investigated in Europe, America, and Asia. Summary odds ratios (OR) were calculated using a random-effects model.


The overall OR of metabolic syndrome was 0.90 (95% Confidence Interval (CI), 0.81-0.99) for the highest category of coffee intake compared with the lowest intake category. These associations were stronger in populations of US and Europe (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.76-0.94), whereas no association was observed in the Asian population (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.81-1.23).


The review results indicate that frequent coffee consumption may be beneficial to metabolic syndrome, but the association between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome may differ by nations or continents.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Flow diagram of study selection for meta-analysis

Fig. 2

Forest plot of summary odds ratio of metabolic syndrome for the highest versus lowest categories of coffee consumption

Fig. 3

Influence analysis of coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome among all selected studies

Fig. 4

Funnel plot testing for publication bias

Table 1

Criteria of metabolic syndrome by various organizations781932


NCEP ATP III, national cholesterol education program-third adult treatment panel; IDF, international diabetes federation; AHA, American heart association; NHLBI, national heart lung and blood institute; JASSO, Japan society for the study of obesity; WC, waist circumference; TG, triglycerides

1) WC cut points for Asian population by WHO (Western Pacific Region) and the International Obesity Task Force 2) WC cut points for Korean population by Korean Endocrine Society and for Asian population according to WHO (for any Asian) 3) Population specific cut points for WC: Europoids, Sub-Saharan Africans, Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (Arab) populations M ≥ 94 cm, W ≥ 80 cm; South Asians, Chinese, Japanese, Ethnic South and Central Americans Men > 90 cm Women > 80 cm

Table 2

Summary of the studies on the relationship between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome


1) Modified WC cut points are > 94 cm for men, > 80 cm for women. 2) Due to lack of information, participant taking antihypertensive medication is regarded as having hypertension; diabetes are diagnosed by self-report; missing WC values are calculated from regression model. 3) Modified WC cut points are > 90 cm for men, > 80 cm for women for Asian population according to WHO (Western Pacific Region). 4) ORs for a 3 cups/day vs. none were calculated for the meta-analysis. 5) Modified WC cut points are > 90 cm for men, > 85 cm for women for Asian population according to WHO (for any Asian).

N.A: not available

Table 3

Pooled odds ratios/relative risks and 95% CI for coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome by subgroups



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Programme through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2014R1A1A3049866).


1. Grigg D. The worlds of tea and coffee: patterns of consumption. GeoJournal. 2002; 57(4):283–294.
2. International Coffee Organization. Monthly coffee market report: August 2012 [Internet]. London: International Coffee Organization;2012. cited 2016 May 26. Available from:
3. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Korea Health Statistic. Korea Health Statistics 2010: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V-1). Cheongwon: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;2011.
4. USDA'S Global Agriculture Information Network. Coffee market brief update: Korea - Republic of (GAIN report number: KS1109). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service;2011 Feb 16. cited 2016 May 26.
5. Ding M, Bhupathiraju SN, Chen M, van Dam RM, Hu FB. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2014; 37(2):569–586.
6. Shang F, Li X, Jiang X. Coffee consumption and risk of the metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab. 2016; 42(2):80–87.
7. Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR, Donato KA, Eckel RH, Franklin BA, Gordon DJ, Krauss RM, Savage PJ, Smith SC Jr, Spertus JA, Costa F; American Heart Association National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute scientific statement. Circulation. 2005; 112(17):2735–2752.
8. Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Executive summary of the third report of the national cholesterol education program (NCEP) expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA. 2001; 285(19):2486–2497.
9. Ranheim T, Halvorsen B. Coffee consumption and human health--beneficial or detrimental?--Mechanisms for effects of coffee consumption on different risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005; 49(3):274–284.
10. Jee SH, He J, Appel LJ, Whelton PK, Suh I, Klag MJ. Coffee consumption and serum lipids: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Am J Epidemiol. 2001; 153(4):353–362.
11. van Dam RM, Hu FB. Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. JAMA. 2005; 294(1):97–104.
12. Cai L, Ma D, Zhang Y, Liu Z, Wang P. The effect of coffee consumption on serum lipids: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012; 66(8):872–877.
13. Lutsey PL, Steffen LM, Stevens J. Dietary intake and the development of the metabolic syndrome: the atherosclerosis risk in communities study. Circulation. 2008; 117(6):754–761.
14. Wilsgaard T, Jacobsen BK. Lifestyle factors and incident metabolic syndrome. The Tromsø Study 1979-2001. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2007; 78(2):217–224.
15. Nordestgaard AT, Thomsen M, Nordestgaard BG. Coffee intake and risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a Mendelian randomization study. Int J Epidemiol. 2015; 44(2):551–565.
16. Grosso G, Marventano S, Galvano F, Pajak A, Mistretta A. Factors associated with metabolic syndrome in a mediterranean population: role of caffeinated beverages. J Epidemiol. 2014; 24(4):327–333.
17. Grosso G, Stepaniak U, Micek A, Topor-Mądry R, Pikhart H, Szafraniec K, Pająk A. Association of daily coffee and tea consumption and metabolic syndrome: results from the Polish arm of the HAPIEE study. Eur J Nutr. 2015; 54(7):1129–1137.
18. Takami H, Nakamoto M, Uemura H, Katsuura S, Yamaguchi M, Hiyoshi M, Sawachika F, Juta T, Arisawa K. Inverse correlation between coffee consumption and prevalence of metabolic syndrome: baseline survey of the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study in Tokushima, Japan. J Epidemiol. 2013; 23(1):12–20.
19. Matsuura H, Mure K, Nishio N, Kitano N, Nagai N, Takeshita T. Relationship between coffee consumption and prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Japanese civil servants. J Epidemiol. 2012; 22(2):160–166.
20. Chang CS, Chang YF, Liu PY, Chen CY, Tsai YS, Wu CH. Smoking, habitual tea drinking and metabolic syndrome in elderly men living in rural community: the Tianliao old people (TOP) study 02. PLoS One. 2012; 7(6):e38874.
21. Yen AM, Chiu YH, Chen LS, Wu HM, Huang CC, Boucher BJ, Chen TH. A population-based study of the association between betel-quid chewing and the metabolic syndrome in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83(5):1153–1160.
22. Ki NK, Lee HK, Cho JH, Kim SC, Kim NS. Factors affecting metabolic syndrome by lifestyle. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016; 28(1):38–45.
23. Kim HJ, Cho S, Jacobs DR Jr, Park K. Instant coffee consumption may be associated with higher risk of metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014; 106(1):145–153.
24. Marventano S, Salomone F, Godos J, Pluchinotta F, DelRio D, Mistretta A, Grosso G. Coffee and tea consumption in relation with non-alcoholic fatty liver and metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Clin Nutr. 2016; Forthcoming 2016.
25. Stroup DF, Berlin JA, Morton SC, Olkin I, Williamson GD, Rennie D, Moher D, Becker BJ, Sipe TA, Thacker SB. Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting. Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group. JAMA. 2000; 283(15):2008–2012.
26. Higgins JP, Thompson SG, Deeks JJ, Altman DG. Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses. BMJ. 2003; 327(7414):557–560.
27. DerSimonian R, Laird N. Meta-analysis in clinical trials. Control Clin Trials. 1986; 7(3):177–188.
28. Begg CB, Mazumdar M. Operating characteristics of a rank correlation test for publication bias. Biometrics. 1994; 50(4):1088–1101.
29. Egger M, DaveySmith G, Schneider M, Minder C. Bias in metaanalysis detected by a simple, graphical test. BMJ. 1997; 315(7109):629–634.
30. Cooper H, Hedges LV, Valentine JC. The handbook of research synthesis and meta-analysis. 2nd edition. New York (NY): Russell Sage Foundation;2009.
31. Korean Endocrine Society Korean Society for the Study of Obesity. Management of obesity, 2010; recommendation. Endocrinol Metab. 2010; 25(4):301–304.
32. International Diabetes Federation. IDF worldwide definition of the metabolic syndrome [Internet]. Brussels: International Diabetes Federation;cited 2016 May 26. Available from:
33. Matsuzawa Y. Metabolic syndrome--definition and diagnostic criteria in Japan. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2005; 12(6):301.
34. Wan CJ, Lin LY, Yu TH, Sheu WH. Metabolic syndrome associated with habitual indulgence and dietary behavior in middle-aged health-care professionals. J Diabetes Investig. 2010; 1(6):259–265.
35. Driessen MT, Koppes LL, Veldhuis L, Samoocha D, Twisk JW. Coffee consumption is not related to the metabolic syndrome at the age of 36 years: the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009; 63(4):536–542.
36. Song F, Oh J, Lee K, Cho MS. The effect of coffee consumption on food group intake, nutrition intake, and metabolic syndrome of Korean adults-2010; KNHANES(V-1). NFS J. 2016; 4:9–14.
37. Dos Santos PR, Ferrari GS, Ferrari CK. Diet, sleep and metabolic syndrome among a legal Amazon population, Brazil. Clin Nutr Res. 2015; 4(1):41–45.
38. Echeverri D, Montes FR, Cabrera M, Galán A, Prieto A. Caffeine's vascular hanisms of action. Int J Vasc Med. 2010; 2010:834060.
39. Heckman MA, Weil J, Gonzalez de Mejia E. Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) in foods: a comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters. J Food Sci. 2010; 75(3):R77–R87.
40. Gray J. Caffeine, coffee and health. Nutr Food Sci. 1998; 98(6):314–319.
41. Carrillo JA, Benitez J. Clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions between dietary caffeine and medications. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2000; 39(2):127–153.
42. Westerterp-Plantenga M, Diepvens K, Joosen AM, Bérubé-Parent S, Tremblay A. Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine. Physiol Behav. 2006; 89(1):85–91.
43. Acheson KJ, Gremaud G, Meirim I, Montigon F, Krebs Y, Fay LB, Gay LJ, Schneiter P, Schindler C, Tappy L. Metabolic effects of caffeine in humans: lipid oxidation or futile cycling? Am J Clin Nutr. 2004; 79(1):40–46.
44. Andriantsitohaina R, Auger C, Chataigneau T, Étienne-Selloum N, Li H, Martínez MC, Schini-Kerth VB, Laher I. Molecular mechanisms of the cardiovascular protective effects of polyphenols. Br J Nutr. 2012; 108(9):1532–1549.
45. Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Rajpathak S, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB. Changes in caffeine intake and long-term weight change in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83(3):674–680.
46. Godos J, Pluchinotta FR, Marventano S, Buscemi S, Li Volti G, Galvano F, Grosso G. Coffee components and cardiovascular risk: beneficial and detrimental effects. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014; 65(8):925–936.
47. Urgert R, Kosmeijer-Schuil TG, Katan MB. Intake levels, sites of action and excretion routes of the cholesterol-elevating diterpenes from coffee beans in humans. Biochem Soc Trans. 1996; 24(3):800–806.
48. Bak AA, Grobbee DE. The effect on serum cholesterol levels of coffee brewed by filtering or boiling. N Engl J Med. 1989; 321(21):1432–1437.
49. Buscemi S, Verga S, Batsis JA, Tranchina MR, Belmonte S, Mattina A, Re A, Rizzo R, Cerasola G. Dose-dependent effects of decaffeinated coffee on endothelial function in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009; 63(10):1200–1205.
50. Pimentel GD, Zemdegs JC, Theodoro JA, Mota JF. Does longterm coffee intake reduce type 2 diabetes mellitus risk? Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2009; 1(1):6.
51. Arion WJ, Canfield WK, Ramos FC, Schindler PW, Burger HJ, Hemmerle H, Schubert G, Below P, Herling AW. Chlorogenic acid and hydroxynitrobenzaldehyde: new inhibitors of hepatic glucose 6-phosphatase. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1997; 339(2):315–322.
52. Clifford MN. Chlorogenic acids and other cinnamates - nature, occurrence, dietary burden, absorption and metabolism. J Sci Food Agric. 2000; 80(7):1033–1043.
53. Andrade-Cetto A, Wiedenfeld H. Hypoglycemic effect of Cecropia obtusifolia on streptozotocin diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001; 78(2-3):145–149.
54. Shearer J, Farah A, de Paulis T, Bracy DP, Pencek RR, Graham TE, Wasserman DH. Quinides of roasted coffee enhance insulin action in conscious rats. J Nutr. 2003; 133(11):3529–3532.
55. Suzuki A, Yamamoto M, Jokura H, Fujii A, Tokimitsu I, Hase T, Saito I. Ferulic acid restores endothelium-dependent vasodilation in aortas of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Am J Hypertens. 2007; 20(5):508–513.
56. Karthikesan K, Pari L, Menon VP. Antihyperlipidemic effect of chlorogenic acid and tetrahydrocurcumin in rats subjected to diabetogenic agents. Chem Biol Interact. 2010; 188(3):643–650.
57. Simental-Mendia LE, Sahebkar A, Rodriguez-Moran M, Guerrero-Romero F. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacol Res. 2016; 111:272–282.
58. La SA, Lee JY, Kim do H, Song EL, Park JH, Ju SY. Low magnesium levels in adults with metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016; 170(1):33–42.
59. Viani R. Physiologically active substances in coffee. In : Clarke RJ, Macrae R, editors. Coffee: Volume 3 Physiology. . London: Elsevier Applied Science;1988. p. 1–31.
60. Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Daniels SR, Donato KA, Eckel RH, Franklin BA, Gordon DJ, Krauss RM, Savage PJ, Smith SC Jr, Spertus JA, Fernando Costa. Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute scientific statement: executive summary. Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2005; 4(4):198–203.
61. Israel KD, Michaelis OE 4th, Reiser S, Keeney M. Serum uric acid, inorganic phosphorus, and glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase and blood pressure in carbohydrate-sensitive adults consuming three different levels of sucrose. Ann Nutr Metab. 1983; 27(5):425–435.
62. Raben A, Vasilaras TH, Møller AC, Astrup A. Sucrose compared with artificial sweeteners: different effects on ad libitum food intake and body weight after 10 wk of supplementation in overweight subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002; 76(4):721–729.
63. Faeh D, Minehira K, Schwarz JM, Periasamy R, Park S, Tappy L. Effect of fructose overfeeding and fish oil administration on hepatic de novo lipogenesis and insulin sensitivity in healthy men. Diabetes. 2005; 54(7):1907–1913.
64. Schulze MB, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women. JAMA. 2004; 292(8):927–934.
65. Gil BI, Rho JH. Hazardous effect of dietary trans fats on human health and regulations. Korean J Food Cookery Sci. 2007; 23(6):1015–1024.
66. Hu FB, Manson JE, Willett WC. Types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001; 20(1):5–19.
67. Han SN, Leka LS, Lichtenstein AH, Ausman LM, Schaefer EJ, Meydani SN. Effect of hydrogenated and saturated, relative to polyunsaturated, fat on immune and inflammatory responses of adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia. J Lipid Res. 2002; 43(3):445–452.
68. Renouf M, Marmet C, Guy P, Fraering AL, Longet K, Moulin J, Enslen M, Barron D, Cavin C, Dionisi F, Rezzi S, Kochhar S, Steiling H, Williamson G. Nondairy creamer, but not milk, delays the appearance of coffee phenolic acid equivalents in human plasma. J Nutr. 2010; 140(2):259–263.
Similar articles