Coffee drinkers in California will soon see cancer warning labels on coffee bought from coffee chains. Drinking coffee has pros and cons, but experts argue that it doesn't cause cancer.
The impending enactment of Proposition 65 in California requires businesses with at least 10 employees to disclose any carcinogens and toxic chemicals in their products. The human neurotoxin acrylamide, which is classified by WHO as a possible 2A carcinogen, is present in coffee and other highly-processed foods.
Cancer experts are saying that there are other lifestyle choices that can lead to cancer risks. However, linking coffee to cancer is inconclusive.
Not A Carcinogen
Cancer experts maintain that they have not seen any link that shows a risk of cancer associated with coffee intake. In fact, in 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, reversed its classification of coffee as a possible cause of cancer after its thorough review of pieces of evidence showed unclear results.
Coffee was listed as a possible carcinogenic in 1991 along with lead and chloroform substances. However, after a review of over a thousand studies conducted both on human and animals on the carcinogenic effects of coffee, no conclusive evidence was drawn.
An overall analysis of 127 different studies on the health outcomes of coffee and caffeine showed that consumption of coffee may even help reduce the risk of several types of cancer including prostate, breast, colorectal, colon, and endometrial cancers.
Findings of the study published in August 2017 stated that coffee can be a part of a healthful diet.
An earlier study also showed that women who drink at least four cups of coffee daily were 18 percent less likely to develop endometrial cancer compared to those who drink less a cup of coffee each day.
Drinking coffee is as well associated with decreased risk of Parkinson's disease, Type 2 diabetes. and reduced risk of pregnancy loss.
"It is a shame that something like this is getting so much attention and will scare people," says Alice Bender, director of nutrition at the American Institute for Cancer Research, referring to the ruling on cancer warning on drinking coffee.
When Is Coffee Considered A Health Risk?
"Coffee is not classifiable as to carcinogenicity," says Dana Loomis, an expert on disease patterns at the University of Nebraska Medical Center who led the study committee of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Drinking coffee may be bad when it is consumed while very, very hot. Evidence from South America showed that extremely hot drinks with a temperature of 150 degrees F or hotter might be linked to cancer.
Coffee drinking in moderation is also good. The health risks may increase when a person drinks too much of the caffeinated beverage.
"A cup of coffee a day, exposure probably is not that high. If you drink a lot of cups a day, this is one of the reasons you might consider cutting that down," says Dr. Bruce Y. Lee of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.