Is Coffee Healthy for You or Not?

Despite repeated scientific studies showing the benefits of drinking coffee a lawsuit is moving forward in California claiming that coffee causes cancer. We just wrote an article, Does Coffee Cause Cancer?

The lawsuit hinges on whether or not the chemical acrylamide which is produced when coffee is roasted causes cancer in coffee drinkers. But it gets a little more complicated because of the law in California which maintains a list of chemicals that have caused cancer when given, sometimes in huge amounts, to laboratory animals. And if a chemical is on the list it should not be given to humans. The problem here is that when something is given in 10,000 fold higher amounts to a lab rat and causes cancer there needs to be some human evidence that the amounts that humans are exposed to really cause cancer. In addition the half-life of acrylamide in the human body is about two hours. That means every two hours after ingestion your body reduces the amount in your system by half. It does not hang around very long.

As we mentioned in the article, The American Cancer Society explains how scientists combine lab evidence with animals and studies of large human populations to gain insight into issues such as whether or not coffee causes cancer. The bottom line with coffee according to the scientists is that there is no clear proof for or against in the cases of cancer of the kidney, endometrium or ovary. But if chemicals in coffee cause cancer in lab animals how do we know it is doing so in people. After all the bottom line for whether coffee is healthy or you or not comes down to not only incidence of disease but life expectancy. In other words can you live longer by drinking coffee?

Drink Coffee and Live Longer

CNN just published an article asking, is coffee healthy and quote yet another study showing longer life with coffee.

In a new observational study involving close to 20,000 individuals, people who consumed at least four cups of coffee daily had a 64% lower risk of early death compared to those never or rarely consumed coffee.

The study was published in the journal of the European Society of Cardiology and reported by Science News. It says that higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of early death.

Higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death, according to research presented today at ESC Congress. The observational study in nearly 20,000 participants suggests that coffee can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.

In addition the benefit of longer life in coffee drinkers goes up with higher consumption and is especially strong in people aged 45 and more. The underlying assumption is that the antioxidants in coffee reduce inflammation which contributes to many disease of aging.

Scientifically an antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the cell damage and cell death in human cells caused by oxidative breakdown of other molecule in the cell. Oxidation is a factor in sickness and aging. Antioxidants help prevent the damage caused by excessive oxidation and to a degree inhibit the aging process. When an oxidative reaction brought on by disease gets going it produces free radicals that start chain reactions which in turn cause cell and tissue damage. The human body has or uses antioxidants to control this situation. Natural means of controlling oxidation include vitamins C and E as well as glutathione. It is low levels of antioxidants that can lead to a condition referred to as oxidative stress and resultant damage to cells in the body. Organic coffee antioxidants are in the same class of molecules that help reduce oxidation.

Is coffee healthy for you? The clean answer is, yes it is.


Leave a Reply