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By Steve Blechman

 Lawsuit Wants Coffee Shops to Post a Warning!

 A lawsuit in the state of California wants coffee shops to post a link between coffee and cancer caused by acrylamide, which is formed when coffee beans are roasted. They want coffee shops such as Starbucks and 7-Eleven to post warnings that acrylamide in coffee may cause cancer!!

 SHOW ME THE SCIENCE! The National Cancer Institute says that a “large number” of studies in humans have found “no consistent evidence that dietary acrylamide exposure is associated with the risk of any type of cancer.” Studies have shown that acrylamide can cause cancer in rats, but humans are not rats! To date, the doses of acrylamide given to rodents can be thousands of times the concentration compared to what you see in the diet over a short period of time. Heating various plant foods and grains at high temperatures can generate acrylamide, such as potatoes (french fries, potato chips) and cereals. Coffee sellers in California may need to display a Proposition 65 sign declaring that coffee is a potential health risk! Do you believe it? With all the positive health research on the health benefits of coffee. The state of California wants to put warnings in Starbucks and other coffee shops that coffee may cause cancer. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a non-profit organization, has been pursuing a legal battle in California since 2010.

 Research has shown no association between coffee intake and many types of cancer. I consider coffee the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is loaded with phenolic antioxidants, which have been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and living a longer life. In fact— the darker the roast, the better!

 There are over 200 studies that find drinking to two to three cups of coffee per day is associated with a lower risk of death and heart disease compared to drinking no coffee. Also, coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of many cancers, liver disease, diabetes and dementia. A recent study (Food Func., 2018, Jan 23) found that coffee consumption promotes muscle hypertrophy. By inhibiting myostatin expression and increasing IGF-1, the study showed that coffee increases grip strength. Another study (Nutrition Journal, 2012) found that coffee drinking not only increases longevity, but also elevates testosterone levels!

 A Harvard University study led by Nicole Wedick showed that men who drink caffeinated coffee showed an increase in total testosterone and decreases in total and free estradiol (estrogen). Coffee acted as a natural aromatase inhibitor, which prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This study demonstrates that coffee is clearly a healthy and beneficial beverage for male athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Also, the caffeine in coffee can increase exercise performance. Caffeine also acts as a fat burner by suppressing appetite, increasing thermogenesis and energy expenditure, and decreases total body fat mass. An observational study in nearly 20,000 participants, published in the European Heart Journal, shows that people who consume four cups of coffee per day had a 65% lower-risk of death than non-coffee drinkers. Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) found that 400mg of caffeine is safe daily. When taken at the recommended daily amount of 400mg – about four cups of coffee, - caffeine has no lasting damage on the body. Another study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology in 2017 found that coffee decreases the risk of fatty liver disease. A meta-analysis of published studies, led by Karn Wijarnpreecha from Basset Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, concluded that coffee drinkers showed substantially fewer blood markers of inflammation and liver injury and a reduced the risk of fatty liver disease, compared to non-drinkers.

 Coffee drinking decreases the risk of cirrhosis of the liver by 80 percent! Causes include alcohol, oral use of anabolic steroids, obesity, hepatitis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Coffee appears to protect the liver by reducing inflammation. Liver cancer is an extremely deadly form of cancer, and fatty liver disease can require a liver transplant. The research shows that regular coffee drinking might help to protect you!

 Research has shown that coffee will increase antioxidant enzymes that are produced naturally during metabolism. High levels of free radicals are linked to DNA damage, cancer, premature aging and depressed immunity. Brazilian scientists found that coffee consumption increases antioxidant levels. These chemicals help to neutralize free radicals and promote cell health.

 Other research has shown that coffee reduces the risk of prostate cancer. A study of nearly 50,000 men tracked for more than 20 years showed a link between coffee drinker and prostate cancer. The average man in the study consumed about two cups of coffee per day. Men who drank six or more cups per day reduced their risk by 18 percent compared to non-coffee drinkers.

 A study from the Clinical Medical Technology Central Laboratory found that drinking coffee before intense exercise improved exercise capacity and increased fat use.

 Bulletproof Coffee, a beverage containing coffee and grass-fed butter (or ghee, clarified butter) is the latest diet fad. In February 2017, 52-year-old Bob Harper, celebrity fitness trainer on the hit TV show “The Biggest Loser,” suffered a heart attack at a New York City gym and went into cardiac arrest. He was lucky to survive! The culprit turned out to be fatty particle in the blood called lipoprotein(a), a risk factor for heart disease. Research has shown that it can be lowered by a Mediterranean diet rich in monounsaturated fats; one study reported a significant decrease in lipoprotein(a) levels in people whose diet was supplemented with almonds. Also, the B vitamin niacin has been shown to lower lipoprotein(a) levels.

 Bob Harper was on the “Rachael Ray Show” in April 2017 demonstrating his “morning coffee,” which consisted of eight ounces of strong coffee, coconut oil and clarified butter (ghee). Harper said that this was his “fuel” before he “heads to the gym every morning on an empty stomach.” After his heart attack, he discontinued this pre-workout ritual. He cut his intake of saturated fats from his diet! Bob Harper is now on a Mediterranean/pescatarian diet rich in fish and vegetables.

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 Bottom line: overwhelmingly, the research has clearly proven that coffee is a healthy beverage and has many health benefits (without the cream, sugar, butter and coconut oil!). It can prevent disease, burn fat, boost lean body mass and improve performance! I am tired of all the crazy regulation and health warnings in the state of California! It’s insane! The people of California should speak out against these unsubstantiated health warnings! SHOW ME THE SCIENCE!!



            Starbucks Coffee in California Must Have Cancer Warning Judge Says. Reporting by Nate Raymond; Additional reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Writing by Andrew Hay; Editing by Richard Chang and Leslie Adler. Reuters, March 28, 2018.

            Gunter MJ, Murphy N, et al. Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries: A Multinational Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med 2017;167:236-247. doi: 10.7326/M16-2945

            European Heart Journal, published online. 8/27/2017

            Poole R, Kennedy O, et al. Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. BMJ 2017; j5024 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j5024

            Cornelis MC, Erlund I, et al. Metabolic response to coffee consumption: application to a three‐stage clinical trial. First published 12 February, 2018.

            Wedick N, Mantzoros C, et al. The effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on sex hormone-binding globulin and endogenous sex hormone levels: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 201211:86 Wedick et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012 Received June 14, 2012; Accepted October 16, 2012; Published October 19, 2012.

            Jang YJ, Son HJ, et al. Coffee consumption promotes skeletal muscle hypertrophy and myoblast differentiation. Food Funct 2018, 9, 1102. DOI: 10.1039/C7FO01683B.

            Wijarnpreecha K, Thongprayoon C, et al. Coffee consumption and risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Volume 29, Number 2, February 2017, pp. e8-e12(5) DOI:

            Wilson K, Kasperzyk J, et al. Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Professionals, Follow-up Study. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 103, Issue 11, 8 June 2011, Pages 876-884.

            Reis C, Paiva C, et al. (2018). Decaffeinated coffee improves insulin sensitivity in healthy men. British Journal of Nutrition, 119(9), 1029-1038. doi:10.1017/S000711451800034X

            Hodge A, Lim S, et al. Coffee Intake Is Associated with a Lower Liver Stiffness in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B. Nutrients 2017 Jan; 9(1): 56. Published online 2017 Jan 10. doi: 10.3390/nu9010056

            Rachael Ray show, April 2017

Journal of Applied Physiology, 123: 213-220, 2017