Groundless Coffee Proposition

California would like to put a warning on coffee claiming that one of its roasting byproducts, acrylamide, has been associated with cancer. This misguided step would not be worth commenting on if it were not for a couple of facts:

One, eighty thousand chemicals in our environment have not properly tested for their potential carcinogen effects. Many of those that have been tested have shown clear links to cancer, i.e., pesticides, heavy metals, phthalates and BPA in plastics, etc. It gives me pause to see that the chemical industry gets a pass while a more foreign-base industry gets slammed. We are straining on gnats and swallowing camels. Are there ulterior monetary motives brewing? Wake up and smell the coffee!

Two, coffee has been repeatedly and consistently associated with longevity, less diabetes, and better detoxification, better cognitive function, and less Parkinson’s ALS, and MS (see references below.) Sure, it does have diminishing returns if you drink more than 4 cups a day, and some people experience gastric discomfort and palpitations with even one cup. Coffee also has potential for habituation. Of course, we respect those who choose to abstain for religious reasons.


Coffee decreases mortality, J Epidemiol 2015.

Coffee and Colorectal Cancer: Grounds for Prevention? J. Gastroenterology March 2018Volume 154, Issue 4, Pages 790–792

Carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, mate, and very hot beverages, J. Carcinogenesis (2016) 37 (6): 589

The AP (6/15, Cheng) reports that “experts convened by the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm declared” yesterday “that there isn’t enough proof to show that the brew is linked to cancer.” However, “in the same report, they warned that drinking ‘very hot’ beverages of any kind could potentially raise your risk of the disease.” The findings were discussed in a letter published in the Lancet Oncology. Epub June 15 2016

The Los Angeles Times (6/15, Healy) reports, “The warning…follows an exhaustive review of studies on coffee, tea and cancer by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.” According to the Times, “A working group of 23 scientists declared that drinking beverages hotter than 149 degrees Fahrenheit is ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ – a category that also includes red meat, the pesticide DDT and the human papillomavirus.”

NBC News (6/15, Fox) reports on its website, “Extremely hot drinks might damage the cells in the esophagus enough to sometimes cause cancer, the group said.”

New Evidence for Link Between Coffee and Risk of Endometrial Cancer. Consumption of 10 items linked to endometrial cancer risk. Butter, yogurt, potatoes, and carbohydrates were associated with increased risk; cheese, coffee, cream desserts, total fat, monounsaturated fat, and phosphorus were associated with decreased risk. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2015) 107 (6): djv163 doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv163

Coffee May Be Associated With a Lower Risk of Malignant Melanoma

JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2015) 107 (2): djv013 doi:10.1093/jnci/djv013

Coffee consumption and [lower] risk of prostate cancer,
J. Carcinogenesis (2014) 35 (2): 256

Lower prostate cancer with 4+ cups of coffee, J. Cancer Causes and Control, Epub August 2 2013

Coffee consumption and risk of chronic disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)–Germany study Am J Clin Nutr 2012 95: 901 No higher risk, but lower risk of Diabetes.

Higher coffee consumption may impact risk for developing MS

The CBS News (3/3, Marcus) reports that the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) “was higher in adults who downed fewer cups of coffee every day,” the findings of a two-study meta-analysis published March 3 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry reveal. Included in the meta-analysis were a study “from Sweden, involving 1,620 adults with MS and a comparison group of 2,788 healthy people, and a US study including 1,159 people with MS and 1,172 healthy people.” HealthDay (3/3, Norton) reports that in both studies, people “who downed about six cups of coffee a day were almost one-third less likely to develop MS than non-drinkers were.” What’s more, “the link was not explained away by factors such as people’s age, education or income levels, or smoking and drinking habits.”

Drink coffee to avoid Alzheimer’s Disease,
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease June 5, 2012

Time to wake up and smell the coffee? Coffee consumption and multiple sclerosis, J. Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

Coffee and tea consumption and the risk of Parkinson’s disease
J. Movement Disorders First published: 21 August 2007,

Drinking coffee mindfully may benefit consumers seeking to reduce daily sugar intake

Reuters (8/22, Crist) reports a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found coffee drinkers seeking to reduce their consumption of sugar should consider taking the beverage with minimal or no sugar and drinking it mindfully. Researchers found that between three groups of consumers – one which reduced added sugar in coffee in increments, another which learned how to drink mindfully, and a third which “went cold-turkey” – those who imbibed coffee mindfully drank the most sugar-free coffee for the longest period.

Coffee and tea consumption in relation to estimated glomerular filtration rate: results from the population-based longitudinal Doetinchem Cohort Study
Am J Clin Nutr 2016 103: 1370

Coffee reduces risk of depression and Diabetes,
Eur J Clin Nutr August 2015.

Low-energy diets differing in fibre, red meat and coffee intake equally improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes: a randomised feasibility trial, High consumption of fibre and coffee and low intake of red meat associate with diminished risk of type 2 diabetes in epidemiological studies.
J. Diabetologia Feb 2015.

Coffee consumption after myocardial infarction and risk of cardiovascular mortality: a prospective analysis in the Alpha Omega Cohort
Am J Clin Nutr 2017 106: 1113-1120

Impact of coffee on liver diseases: a systematic review
J. Liver International 12 August 2013,

“Is coffee a functional food?” British J. Nutrition 2005;93:773

  • Antioxidants (flavonoids, phenolic compounds, theobromine, xanthine, nicotinic acid, trigonelline, quinolinic acid, tannic acid, pyrogallic acid, hydroxycinnamic acids.)
    • Black tea>coffee>coke, red wine>violet carot juice>apricot nectar>white wine.
  • Maximum antioxidant activity in medium roasted coffee
  • Unfiltered Italian coffee raises Glutathione
  • Decreases absorption of K, Mg, Mn
  • Caffeine content 58-259 mg/dose
  • Decaffeinated through supercritical CO2
  • Arabian coffee 70% caffeine free: Ethopian Coffea arabica 94% caffeine free.
  • Decreases early morning drive sleepiness for about 30″ following no sleep and 2 hrs after sleep restriction.
  • Reduces breast cancer, except in obese women
  • Decreases liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis GB stones, asthma
  • Decreases post prandial glycemia, and risk of diabetes
  • reduces cardiovascular events: no increase in MIs
  • Increases body temperature, enrgy expenditure
  • Increases testosterone, potency and sexual activity in elderly women
  • Improves mood, lowers risk of suicide, increases speed of processing information, and better cognitive performance.
  • Better neurologic outcomes, ADD improvement, lower risk PD and AD
  • Improves Dopamine system: useful in alcohol and drug addiction
  • Cappuccino to treat dry mouth seen with tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Problems: only after 4 cups a day
    • withdrawal syndrome
    • short sleep
    • increase BP
    • increase inflammation
    • lower infant birth weight
Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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