A cup of coffee could soon be served with a cancer warning if the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) has their way. In 2010, the nonprofit group filed a lawsuit against the state of California charging that drinking coffee could expose people to a cancer-causing chemical created when coffee beans are roasted. Late last month a judge ruled in favor of CERT, saying that coffee shops in the state should warn customers of the potential health risks.
Acrylamide, the chemical in question, is created when foods are cooked at high temperatures. It is found in a variety of foods including French fries, potato chips and even roasted asparagus.
Coffee companies and health experts alike are disputing the claim based on limited studies that show acrylamide caused cancer in mice when consumed in levels 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than those humans might reasonably be exposed to in foods.
According to the American Cancer Society, no studies to date have revealed a clear link between acrylamide intake and any specific cancer types. Furthermore, the studies are reliant on food questionnaires and participants often have difficulty remembering exactly what foods they have eaten within a given period of time. When the Los Angeles ruling was announced, Dr. Ackerman was brought onto Jacksonville's WJXT Channel 4 News to provide his insights into what this means for coffee drinkers. You can watch his interview here.
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed coffee from its list of cancer-causing agents citing there was no conclusive evidence that coffee had a carcinogenic effect. What is more, multiple studies show there are actually numerous health benefits derived from consuming a cup or two of joe.
Health studies indicate coffee drinkers may reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke and cardiovascular disease. The beverage may even offer protection from cirrhosis and lower the risk of developing colon and liver cancers.
In other words, eating foods high in sugar and fat is much more detrimental to health than enjoying that freshly brewed morning coffee.