Kahweol is a diterpene molecule found in the beans of Coffea arabica. It is structurally related to cafestol. Recent research suggests that kahweol may have beneficial effects on bone by inhibiting osteoclast differentiation. Another recent study confirmed that kahweol has anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic effects, offering a possible mechanism for the association found in epidemiological studies between consumption of unfiltered coffee and decreased risk of cancer.
Kahweol is an oil that, along with Cafestol, has been linked to increased cholesterol when consumed in excess. This is particularly problematic for individuals who possess the genetic mutation that causes them to metabolize coffee slowly. For the general population, Kahweol is not considered to be a health concern, especially due to the fact that consuming Kahweol is linked to many health benefits. Apart from the benefits mentioned above, Kahweol has also been shown to improve liver function.
Kahweol is one of the bioactive compounds in coffee, along with antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid that have recently been discovered to be responsible for many of the health benefits that were previously attributed to caffeine consumption. This leads to the hypothesis that decaffeinated coffee may be as beneficial, or almost as beneficial, for health as caffeinated coffee.