Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

WHO: Coffee Does Not Cause Cancer

Food

Good news, coffee drinkers: A new scientific review finds no conclusive evidence that coffee causes cancer. In fact, coffee may even help protect against certain cancers.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, revised this week its 1991 determination that classified coffee as possibly carcinogenic. Since then, there have been a lot of studies on the health effects of coffee, so the agency decided to re-evaluate the evidence. On review, the agency determined that coffee drinkers have no reason to worry.

Coffee may even help protect against certain cancers.

Is this flip-flop a reason to dismiss studies linking cancer to eating bacon, using cell phones or other habits, on grounds that science doesn't prove anything? On the contrary. Scientific understanding of an issue conforms to the best available knowledge, which is constantly progressing. As our knowledge grows and changes, so too might our conclusions.

The 1991 classification was based on a few studies that found associations between drinking coffee and bladder cancer. The World Health Organization noted at the time that the evidence was limited.

Historically, coffee drinkers also tend to be smokers and smoking is a strong risk factor for bladder cancer. Coffee was classified as a possible carcinogen because researchers couldn't confirm whether the association with bladder cancer was an artifact of smoking.

More recent studies have far more robust assessments of smoking as well as more complete evaluations of occupational exposures and other risk factors. When these risk factors are more accurately controlled, a link between coffee and bladder cancer is no longer seen. Taking this new information into account is what caused the agency to revise its previous assessment and conclude coffee drinking is “unclassifiable as to its carcinogenicity"—in other words, there's no evidence it causes cancer.

But the news gets even better for coffee drinkers.

Recent studies have found some evidence that drinking coffee regularly may reduce the risk of liver cancer and endometrial cancer. Other evidence shows coffee may be beneficial in reducing liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

Just how coffee reduces the risk of these cancers is not entirely understood. One clue: Coffee contains compounds that can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may play a role.

One thing we know for sure: what we eat and drink has a tremendous impact on our health. For more information on healthy eating, visit EWG's Food Scores.

Enjoy your coffee—just go easy on the cream and sugar.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

What Is Nitro Coffee?

Dr. Mark Hyman: 7 Ways to Achieve Optimal Brain Health

In 17 Days Vermont's Historic GMO Labeling Law Goes Into Effect: Is Big Food Ready?

8 High-Protein Vegan Snacks You Can Take With You Anywhere

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

Read More Show Less
Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans and others who suffer from PTSD. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Arash Javanbakht

For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.

Read More Show Less
Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less