For so many around the world, coffee has become a part of their daily lives, and some might even say it is the one thing they cannot live without. However, in a recent court ruling, a Los Angeles judge said coffee sold in California must carry a cancer warning.
This is related to a carcinogen formed during the roasting process and has raised questions among consumers.
Could this ruling have an adverse effect on the coffee habits?
For the Love of Coffee
It has been said that coffee makes your immune system stronger and healthier, relieves headaches, improves memory, and even helps you lose excess weight.
Last year, a study of almost half a million people from 10 European countries concluded that drinking three cups of coffee daily may have health benefits.
But research remains inconclusive to ascertain that coffee has a protective effect.
Many will admit they cannot get their day started without it. Others will tell you how their love for coffee brewed stronger over time.
And then there is some research claiming that coffee could increase cancer risk.
California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle recently ruled that coffee companies in the state must warn customers, due to the presence of cancer-inducing chemicals in coffee.
One of those chemicals is acrylamide.
Acrylamide is present in roasted coffee, just like in any other food prepared with the methods of frying, baking, broiling, or roasting. There is no possible way of preparing coffee other than roasting it. Without that process, you will not be able to enjoy your tasty cup of coffee.
Studies done by the American Cancer Society found that acrylamide increases the risk of cancer when consumed by lab animals.
However, the doses of acrylamide given to the lab animals for testing have been excessive compared to the levels we might be exposed to in foods. The effect of acrylamide on humans may differ from these results.
The coffee industry did not deny that acrylamide was found in coffee. However, they contended it was at harmless levels and coffee should be exempted from the law since the chemical results naturally from cooking and is necessary for taste.
In 2016, the World Health Organisation removed coffee from a list of possible carcinogens. This eased some concerns about its impact on health.
Some studies have proven that drinking coffee might actually insulate you from developing prostate and liver cancer, melanoma, and endometrial cancer.
Not to mention, drinking three to four cups of coffee a day might reduce your risk of dying of heart diseases, like coronary heart disease.
It appears there may be health benefits to drinking coffee but the risks remain unclear. More research needs to be conducted to determine the links between coffee, acrylamide and cancer.