Coffee is not Carcinogenic. At least, not anymore?
Rejoice people who love coffee and cannot go a day without drinking it: WHO (World Health Organization) has proclaimed in its latest research based on a number of studies that Coffee Is Not Carcinogenic (link goes to a PDF file, don’t be surprised [if file is downloaded]). Whoohooo!! Like it would change anything… Although sometimes it does, like recent statement from American Heart Association that Coconut Oil is bad for your health. So all the media started yelling that people should cut Coconut Oil out of their daily diet (it’s OK though, because Coconut Oil has a multitude of applications in your household hence you don’t have to stop using it, just don’t eat it as much, if you used to). But with coffee we see the opposite situation: it was widely believed to be causing cancer earlier, and this one statement from WHO crossed off all the previous “beliefs” and now people can drink coffee guilt free again.. What a marvelous life. Well, coffee (thanks to caffeine) still causes different conditions and possible diseases, but there ways to make coffee beneficial for your body by adding spices to it.
I mean, please, don’t misunderstand me: coffee is still bad for you. Despite that now it’s (officially) not carcinogenic. But all the negative effects caffeine has on your body are nothing compared to cancer, so generally speaking coffee is now acceptable to drink. =) Laughing at my own words.. We always need someone in charge to tell us what to do, right? But don’t worry, at least with coffee it’s OK to follow their advice..
Generally speaking, coffee was considered to cause cancer over the last 50 years. There were many, and I mean many studies done to check that hypothesis. Of course, i understand scientists.. Many of them live on coffee, drinking half a dozen cups daily.. So they were worried, thus kept studying and studying coffee’s effects on possible malignant cell growth. But throughout these decades, there were always studies disproving that. Some types of cancer were first associated with drinking coffee by some scientists, and then disproved by other studies. For example, a study in 1989 in the USA (by Rosenberg, Werler, Palmer, etc) has found no support of theories that coffee causes colon cancer, they even state that coffee helps colon health. While another study in Canada in mid 90-s (by Woolcott, King, Marett) states that there is slight relationship there and coffee may be causing colon cancer. And again a later study published in 2010 (by Zhang, Albanes, Beeson, Buring, etc) spanning across whole globe and involving half a million patients have shown that there is no relationship there, coffee doesn’t cause colon cancer (although they give a bit of thought that tea might be causing some cancer, omitted it needs further studying). So over the few past decades scientists couldn’t really decide whether coffee is or isn’t carcinogenic.
Thanks to the WHO, we now know
It’s hard to pass sarcasm in written language, but i hope you are feeling it in my words.. I am sarcastic.. And so I thank you, oh the great and mighty WHO, for putting my worries to rest and allowing me to drink coffee without guilt of making cancer develop in my body. The fact that I have been smoking cigarettes for the past 20 years and live in highly polluted Chicago (they say ozone can also cause cancer) for the past 15 years, those facts don’t really mean anything, right? Of course, people drink lots of coffee, and corporations like Starbucks or Nescafe don’t want you to think their product can cause cancer to develop inside you.. There’s always a “big” involved in this, Big Coffee in this case, that wants results to be favorable to them, and not to others, to people, in this case.. There’s always going to be a veil, a hiding cloak thrown across such problems.. But with the power of internet we can always decide for ourselves whether this or that is true or not.. But really, it’s hard to believe some respected sources, while other equally respected ones say the opposite.. So nowadays we actually need the real Official Source (lie this WHO) to tell us that we’re OK..
While Very Hot Beverages may cause cancer
And here we have a little backdoor that WHO have made for themselves. Even that there were two dozen scientists involved and signed in the last research, they still want to have a little escape route by saying that “Drinking very hot beverages was classified as probably carcinogenic to humans“. It’s not carcinogenic, it’s probably carcinogenic. So, get ready for another three decades of scientific research and publications saying that tea and other hot drinks are cancerous, coupled with studies disproving that. And maybe by 2045 or so we’re going to know that hot beverages do not cause cancer, while the cups and spoons that we use to drink hot hot beverages probably do, because they oxidize in the process, or something else… There is a good article on this whole “probably/possible” published by Cancer Research UK website, and they are really laughing at the whole concept themselves.
One of the examples WHO makes is drinking Mate, a famous South-American coffee-like drink, that is consumed very hot or cold, up to your liking. The problem with all that example that Mate preparation doesn’t even involve boiling water. Same as making matcha tea (which is really beneficial for you) has no boiling water in the recipe, Mate actually has a bit hotter water, but still 15-20C before its boiling point. I remember when I was young, while my mother wrote essays for my school homework, i’d have to make coffee for her. So she’d have me first pour boiling water in a cup, let it sit for a minute, pour it out (leaving cup very hot), then put a bit of instant coffee in the cup, and pour boiling water again. And only then she’d say it was good enough and start drinking it.. She passed away a decade ago, and it had nothing to do with Cancer. Anyways, Mate, Matcha, or just hot chicken bullion can actually be carcinogenic, according to this latest publishing by WHO. Do you want to believe it? I will actually ignore it.. Cause it seems like soon taking a hot hot shower will be classified as causing some skin cancer, remember my words. Well, maybe not category 2a, as shown on the picture to the right, where hot beverages are now, but category 2b probably – “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, according to IARC..
A bit of History of Cancer
To make this a whole picture, I think a bit of Cancer History must be shown.. This is only to prove that people have known cancer since they tried to do something with their bodies, heal somehow, not just pray to Gods on Olympus that everything get fixed on its own…. Yes, cancer has existed throughout all of the human history. The earliest written mentioning of cancer is from around 1600 BC (Egypt, breast cancer). Then Hippocrates around 400 BC came across several kinds of cancer (from greek crab or crayfish). The name comes from the looks of sliced malignant tumor, with “the veins stretched on all sides as the crab has its feet”. Back then surgery was recommended as treatment.
Later in 15-17th centuries thanks to Leonardo da Vinci, doctors became able to dissect bodies to discover what caused their deaths. Some thought milk clots caused breast cancer, others that chemical acidity caused it, third insisted it was poison spreading through the body and assumed it was contagious. Nose cancer was attributed to snuff tobacco. 18th century’s chimney sweepers’ common disease was cancer of scrotum. But it was then when first surgeons really pinpointed what and how – it all starts from melanoma.
So generally cancer has been “with us” since the beginning of time, it’s not a rather recent thing, like AIDS, but it got lots of attention recently, in last century or two. Fun facts, in the 1970s, a relatively popular alternative cancer treatment in the United States was a special way of talk therapy. It assumed that cancer was caused by bad attitude. LOL. People prone to cancer actually had “cancer personalities” (depressed, repressed, self-loathing and scared to show their emotions) and were believed to have themselves manifested cancer (through subconscious desire, no less). Some doctors believed that cure would actually happen if patient’s outlook on life would change. Believe it or not, with little info on how to deal with cancer, some doctors thought BEHAVIORAL CHANGES would cure cancer. Among other effects, such ridiculous beliefs called for society to blame the patient for developing cancer (by “wanting” it)…
So… 40-50 or so years later, we are now talking that coffee doesn’t cause cancer… Did we really get far from those who thought cancer can be cured by being a good person? Ghm… Yes, and no.. But what do you think? Do you think coffee is still carcinogenic? Do you think the opposite? Well, one thing is certain… If you do drink coffee, – you can continue doing so. If you don’t drink coffee – this info should not make you start drinking it. Coffee can turn into an addiction, which is hard to get rid of. Plus you might start drinking coffee with alcohol, which is not good either. So don’t start, if you are not doing it already. But doing it is OK now, drinking coffee is OK if your only concern was the cancerous part of things.. Although i still think coffee isn’t the best way to make yourself awake.. Matcha drink is much better. Also teas are great, but they may be causing cancer, according to some other random study… Plus, according to a recently published research, coffee actually prolongs life, so maybe it’s still worthy to drink it.. =)