In recent years we have been bombarded with differing views on what is healthy for you to eat and what is not. For every article that says a particular food is good for you, there are several that will say the opposite. So, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that something is not harmful to you, hopefully, you can trust their judgment.
FDA disagrees with California Supreme Court
The FDA has come out in support of drinking coffee, no matter what the Los Angeles Superior Court may think. In a recent judgment, the court has ruled that all coffee sold in the state of California, must be accompanied by a cancer warning.
What the FDA said
The Court judgment is based on the potential of one chemical in coffee to cause cancer. That chemical is called acrylamide and is found in roasted coffee beans. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA Commissioner, believes warning consumers of cancer risk, based on the presences of one chemical, namely acrylamide, is misleading.
Gottlieb says, in his statement on the FDA website, that truthfully labeling food is vital for the health of the nation and that consumers deserve to be told the truth about the food they consume. One part of their mandate is to ensure that the labeling on food products is not misleading or false about the safety of the product or its nutritional content.
Ensuring that warning labels are not misleading, is the reason that the FDA decided to step in when the ruling known as Proposition 65 came out of the California Supreme Court. Under Proposition 65, coffee sold in the state of California must be accompanied by a cancer warning as it contains the chemical acrylamide. In the opinion of the FDA, this warning is likely to mislead consumers rather than inform them.
The chemical acrylamide can arise from the sugars and amino acids naturally found in many foods that are subject to high-heat cooking, such as roasting, baking, and frying. It does not come from the environment or the packaging. When acrylamide is found in coffee, it has been created during the roasting process.
Research and animal studies have found that acrylamide can be linked to cancer in animals. Current science does not indicate a significant link between drinking coffee and contracting cancer in humans. This research has been detailed in a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer under the auspices of the World Health Organization, and the FDA supports this view.
Current guidelines for coffee consumption
According to the dietary guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, moderate use of coffee (up to five cups per day or a maximum of 400mg per day of caffeine) can safely be incorporated into your diet.
Not only the FDA but others agree too
Frank Hu, who holds the chair of the Nutrition Department of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has said that there is no evidence that acrylamide causes cancer in humans.
In 2016, a group of 23 scientists attached to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, published an article in the medical journal, Lancet Oncology, stating the same thing.
Benefits of coffee
Scientists may well have determined that there is no link to cancer, but there are some health benefits to drinking coffee.
Lower risk of Death
An NIH study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2012, has found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death as they are less likely to develop respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, heart disease and to suffer injuries and accidents.
Decreased risk of cirrhosis of the Liver
In a study published in January 2016, scientists investigated the relationship between cirrhosis of the liver and coffee. The study involved 1990 cases with 432,133 participants. The findings indicate that increased consumption of coffee resulted in a decreased risk of cirrhosis of the liver.
Decrease in the risk of dementia
Research published on the US National Library of Medicine website in 2010, states that the short-term stimulation of the central nervous system by coffee is well documented but less well known is the long-term effects of coffee on this system. Studies have shown that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day in your mid-life years has been associated with a 65 percent decrease in the risk of dementia in later life.
Focus on Tasks
During a study undertaken in 2007, researchers determined that caffeine improves your ability to focus and in performing tasks.
Reduces the risk of depression in Women
Initial results in a study that the risk of depression in women decreased with increased consumption of caffeinated coffee. Further testing is required to confirm these conclusions.
Reduced Risk of Suicide
Extrapolated results from data collected on 43,599 men and 164,825 women, in three different studies, concluded that there is a correlation between the consumption of caffeinated drinks and a lower risk of suicide.
Low Risk of Cancer
Researchers have conducted over 1,000 studies looking at the effects of coffee, which contains antioxidants, on cancer. Recent results link drinking coffee with a reduced risk of certain cancers such as prostate, liver, endometrial and mouth and throat.
Is there such a thing as too much coffee?
Unfortunately, like everything in life, the key to coffee’s benefits lies in moderation. Studies show that drinking more than six cups a day can result in a faster heartbeat. Also, research indicates that people that suffer from tumors should limit their intake of coffee.
Coffee is known to enlarge blood vessels which allows more blood to the tumors, which in turn encourages them to grow.
Taken altogether, the research shows that drinking coffee in moderation has health benefits that stretch into your golden years. For once, one of the things previously labeled a vice has turned out to be beneficial, so go out, sit in the sunshine and enjoy your cup of java – after all, it is working to benefit your health!