Coffee And Cancer
If you believe all the news reports, there are few things in this world that don’t cause cancer. Nearly everything you can touch or put in your mouth will kill you. There’s soda, wine, cellphones, microwaves and now coffee and cancer? It’s a morning ritual for skiers. Come on!!
Coffee drinkers rise up
Starbuck’s is brewing mad over a pending lawsuit in California. If it succeeds, coffee houses there would have to warn their customers and coffee companies could be required to warning label their product. Already, signs are appearing outside café windows. The biggest issue is not the silly papers themselves but stigma, panic and fear it creates.
I refuse to accept that coffee and cancer are detrimentally connected. Lack of sleep, smoking, TVs, stupid people; yes, maybe those things are deadly but not my coffee. Litigants claim that acrylamide, a chemical found in roasted coffee beans causes cancer in rats. However strong evidence from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) shows that drinking coffee actually reduces risk for endometrial and liver cancer. Coffee contains a variety of compounds that can block carcinogens, reduce cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death. Coffee is also a source of compounds that cell culture and animal studies suggest may shift estrogen metabolism, growth factors and regulators of cell growth to reduce cancer cell growth. Also, caffeic acid in coffee seems to serve as an antioxidant that increases the pace of self-destruction of cancer cells.
The World Health Organization (WHO) further states that acrylamide is everywhere. It’s found in nearly all foods including bread, corn, breakfast cereals, poultry and fish. Stop singling out coffee! Further, although acrylamide increases risk for lab animals, no connection has been established between acrylamide in food and cancer risk for humans. So take that, you coffee haters. BTW, don’t you just hate when people go after our favorite vices?
Coffee’s possible link to cancer is a well-studied one, with over 1,000 reports on the topic. Relatively large and well-controlled population studies now provide positive evidence that even up to six cups of coffee per day does nothing but give you a sweet buzz. Coffee contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and a variety of phytochemicals, many of which have antioxidant properties.
Dr. Ed Giovannucci, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, determined, “We have studied coffee for decades now and have enough evidence from large, well-designed studies to say that coffee is protective for some cancers. We can confidently say that coffee is not harmful and certainly doesn’t have to be labeled the way we label tobacco, which is actually proven to be harmful and causes many cancers.”
Thirteen defendants, including Gloria Jean‘s and 7-11, have settled and agreed to put up the signs rather than fight. But good for Starbucks for not bending over. They are still waging a legal battle, arguing coffee’s health benefits. A decision is expected in the coming months.