coffee not carcinogenic

Finally, we are living in the age of good news about coffee. Rejoice, oh coffee lovers, because Annals of Internal Medicine have published 2 studies confirming that drinking coffee is beneficial for you in a long run and will decrease risks of several heart related terminal diseases. Scientists picked up this trend long ago, – the trend of drinking coffee. They all agree – coffee is one of the most consumed drinks on the planet, and it definitely needs more research. And thus was the last year’s decree by World Health Organization that we’ve already discussed earlier. They have run multiple studies and reported on coffee not being carcinogenic (thanks to their own report from early 90-s, coffee was considered causing cancer for over 20 years). But let’s get back to the report at hand.

Coffee Drinking and Mortality

To summarize this whole section with a bunch of numbers below, we must say right away: the 2 studies we will talk about have shown that drinking coffee may significantly prolong life, and if not that, that at least lower your risk of death from multiple heart related diseases. If you’re not strong reading numbers, then you can skip to the next section. 🙂 But we shall dive a little deeper.

Study 1: European, Half a million people involved

Thanks to all this craze around the world about cancer and prevention, lots of people nowadays are ready to submit their life and health to research and studies. And so this first study published by the Annals has had a tremendous size of control group – over 520 thousands of subjects (all enrolled in EPIC – European Prospective Investigation into Cancer [and Nutrition]). They were observed over the course of 20 years, and they were interviewed 1 time about their coffee drinking habits. Please, remember – only once. Some could have lied, other could have changed their habits, third were tired and just had coffee, so they overly exaggerated their coffee intake on paper… Nevertheless, this study researched the association of coffee consumption with serum biomarkers of liver function, inflammation, and metabolic health. During an average follow-up of over 16 years, about 42k deaths has occurred. Not necessarily caused by diseases, of course. Over 80 doctors (all PhD-s and MDs) were involved in this study.

Study 1 Results

Compared to people who didn’t drink coffee, those who actually did had statistically significantly lower general mortality (caused by anything). That included the inverse association of death rates caused by digestive diseases for both men and women. Women had statistically better chances of avoiding circulatory diseases if consumed coffee in their diet. Same inverse associations were observed for cerebrovascular disease in women as well as ovarian cancer. Higher coffee consumption was associated with better liver function and stronger bone structure, alanine  & aspartate aminotransferase (cleaner liver),  and, in women, improved levels of C-reactive protein (decreased liver inflammation), lipoprotein (decreases risk of heart disease), and glycated hemoglobin levels (coffee in blood, pardon me, blood sugar). So what does that all mean?  The study subjects who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had a lower risk for all-cause death than people who did not drink coffee.

Study 2: Nonwhite populations, over 180k subjects

And so there was another study published by the Annals, which tried to counteract the mostly white selection of subjects in EPIC study (the first study we discussed). They thought that this predominantly white people selection in first study could have affected the results, plus if was European study, which also excluded lots of areas and nationalities. What if different ways of cooking coffee (like Mate in South America) could affect the results, or different ways of consuming it, or maybe just another place on earth produced better coffee beans that made for better study results? And so this second huge study was undertaken, it spanned an average of 16 year again, and was concentrated mostly in USA (Los Angeles area) and Hawaii, and subjects were 185 855 African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites who were at least 45 to 75 years at the start of the study in 1993-1996.

Study 2 Results

Remarkably, this study produced results very similar to the “all-white study”. Compared with people who didn’t drink coffee, coffee consumption was associated with lower total mortality (after adjustment for smoking and other potential affecting habits). The more coffee consumed on a “per day” basis, the better chances were to avoid death for a bit longer than those who didn’t drink coffee or drank if casually less than 1 cup per day. People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink it, according to this study. “These findings are consistent with previous studies that looked at mostly white populations”, said Veronica Wendy Setiawan, associate professor at Keck School of Medicine, who led this last study (on non-white populations). In this study, by the way, tends were similar for caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee consumption, so consuming caffeine could actually be good for you. Researchers looked at many factors, and so inverse associations were observed for deaths due to heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. “Inverse association” means the more you do of one action, the more the other action is decreased. Thus drinking more coffee decreases chances of sooner death. Which could be described as “drinking coffee prolongs life”. So all in all, this study confirmed the results of the first study, and crossed off the possibility of different results due to different ethnicity or geo-location. It’s not how we cook it and where we live, – it’s just coffee.

What do we think of all of this

Cup of coffee
Cup of coffee

Here at NaturallyBeautiful.Life we are coffee advocates. We recommend coffee, we look into coffee, we are all about coffee. Recently we’ve looked into making coffee good for you by adding spices (cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, etc), then we figured that it’s not coffee that promotes cancer, but rather very hot drinks. We have also discovered that one should not drink coffee after alcohol to sober up or feel better – it won’t help, but rather make you drunker sometimes (although results differ for different people). And after all we have researched and recommended course of action to break off the coffee addiction, in case it gets out of control. But now we are seemingly crossing out half of our talks, because it seems like having coffee addiction could benefit you and decrease your chances to die from heart or liver diseases, kidney problems or diabetes. While coffee won’t stop the looming stroke, it should help you get over it quicker and maybe even prevent it!

In the European study, coffee consumers showed lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles, better glucose control compared with those who weren’t drinking coffee. That’s where diabetes and liver diseases lowered chances statement comes above. It is still unclear which particular compounds of coffee bean provide health benefits, but many scientists from these studies are continuing to research the bean. Again, both studies separated results for smokers and nonsmokers. And they found out that coffee actually helped smokers as good as it did the nonsmokers. Although people should not consider this as something amazing. Smoking does increase your mortality by several times, maybe 200-500%, right? While drinking coffee decreases mortality by 10%.. The difference is still huge – 190% to 490% mortality increase for smokers, so this really shouldn’t be a call to start smoking or stop trying to quit. Quitting smoking will decrease your chances of death from strokes and other related diseases, no matter how much coffee you consume, and if you drink too much, coffee still can attribute to increases chances of stroke, due to strong caffeine intake, causing elevated heartbeats, and other stroke adherent factors.

There are chances that people who drink coffee are generally healthier than those who don’t, to begin with. This also could have affected both studies, when subjects were already biased towards better health situation before the study even began. Maybe different ways of coffee consumption, other places of growth, and a 1000 other factors affected the studies and their results. It’s how studies go – there are tons of unpredictable factors that could influence the final results.


Coffee is still good for you, but now it is even better, cause now we have Big Research tell us that coffee is beneficial and lowers risks of strokes and diabetes. So if you are a coffee drinker – maybe do not quit coffee just yet. And if you are not drinking coffee, it won’t hurt to include a cup or two of coffee into your daily diet. But if you don’t drink it and don’t like it – it’s ok too, water and tea are still acceptable for hydration and for better health. Yes, water is always the best. Plus drinking water you avoid those hot-hot beverages, that are now confirmed as possibly carcinogenic… Nowadays though it’s hard to avoid cancer causing food and general items, we live in the age of plastic, which ends up in the ocean and fish eat plastic and eventually we eat that fish and all the plastic that was absorbed by the fish body… And many many other ways to eat plastic without knowing it. For example. We are not saying eating plastic causes diseases, but it cannot be beneficial for your body either..

But it’s all about those little things which allow us counteract the effects of modern life on our own lifespan.. And drinking coffee is now confirmed to be one of those little things. So drink your coffee and enjoy it too – it’s good for you! =)

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