What the Research Really Shows on Coffee & Cancer

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Coffee may lower the risk of several types of cancer, according to recent studies reviewed by researchers at the American Cancer Society.

The following excerpt was originally posted at the American Cancer Society

AICR has named February Cancer Month. Learn more

To learn more about science, coffee, and why the research matters, join the experts from the NCA Scientific Leadership Council for “The Coffee Science Fair: A Fun Look at a Serious Topic,” a special educational session at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta, GA on March 8.


Scientists have been investigating the links between coffee and cancer for decades. And while our understanding of coffee’s potential health benefits has improved with advances in research, there’s still more to learn.

In 2016, an expert panel convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — the arm of the World Health Organization that is responsible for assessing whether certain substances cause cancer — could not conclude that drinking coffee is carcinogenic based on the current evidence available.

Yet the coffee-cancer connection has recently reappeared in the news, due to the ongoing Prop 65 legislation in California to put misleading “cancer warning labels” on coffee.

So, what do coffee drinkers need to know?

In following interview written by Elizabeth Mendes, American Cancer Society researchers Susan Gapstur, PhD, and Marjorie McCullough, ScD, explain what the studies really show when it comes to coffee and cancer, and discuss what other research is still needed.

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Coffee Clickbait Goes Bananas

Banana and coffee for breakfast

New research on coffee and climate change indicates an urgent situation for crops at origin

Behind the headlines on the future of coffee, according to science – and how you can get involved.

By William (Bill) Murray, NCA CEO & President
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Complete with the typical clickbait-style headline, a recent article intoned that the global population is imminently doomed to a world without coffee – and “not much” can be done about this “on a personal level.”

Sounds grim.

But it could be easy to miss the glimmer of hope buried in the last line:

This future could look bleak for morning coffee drinkers, but with the help of farmers and scientists, our cup of joe can be protected.”

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Two Compounds in Coffee May Work Together to Fight Parkinson’s and Protect Brain Health

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New research suggests that coffee’s potential health benefits are about more than caffeine.

via ScienceDaily


Rutgers scientists have found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia — two progressive and currently incurable diseases associated with brain degeneration.

The discovery, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests these two compounds combined may become a therapeutic option to slow brain degeneration.

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A Bitter Buzz: The Psychology Behind Our Love of Coffee

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A new study found that coffee drinkers are actually more sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine.

Coffee is a complex beverage – and it’s experienced differently by everyone.

Your appreciation (or not) of coffee is largely driven by genetics, which control a host of factors raging from your caffeine tolerance to sensory perception.

A new study from Northwestern University, recently published in Scientific Reports, found that coffee lovers aren’t less sensitive to the bitter taste of coffee – instead, the opposite is true.

This suggests an interesting psychological phenomenon behind our love of coffee.

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How This Coffee Roast May Protect Your Brain

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Both caffeinated and decaf coffee showed the protective effect against cognitive decline

Drinking coffee has previously been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Now, scientists may be closer to understanding why.

New research from the Krembil Research Institute examines how coffee helps protect against long-term cognitive decline  — and it turns out that the roast might matter.

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New Research on the Chemical Composition of Cold Brew

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From antioxidants to acidity, how is cold brew different from hot coffee?


Cold brew is the hottest trend in coffee: The domestic cold brew coffee market grew 580% from 2011 to 2016, according to research from Mintel.

Now, new research from Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University found chemical differences between hot and cold brew coffee, which may have potential health impacts.

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NCA Cold Brew Toolkit: FAQs

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New! NCA Workshop for Coffee Professionals:

The Business & Safety of Cold Brew | Nov. 6 | Sponsored by: Toddy, LLC


What is cold brew coffee?

“At its core, cold brew is a brewing method, not a serving method,” explains Mark Corey, Ph.D., NCA Director of Scientific & Government Affairs.

Dr. Corey led a team of specialized experts to develop the NCA Cold Brew Toolkit, now available to the entire coffee industry. (Read more background about the report and related food safety considerations.)

The Toolkit offers science-based technical guidance and recommended best practices – visit the NCA website for more details.

While working on the report, we received a lot of questions – from consumers and companies alike – about the beverage market’s hottest trend.

Here are some expert-approved answers to common questions about what “cold brew coffee” really means:

NCA Cold Brew Coffee FAQs

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A “Common Sense” Victory For Coffee Science in California

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“Call it a victory for science — or maybe just for common sense.” – The Seattle Times


It was a good news week for  coffee science in California.

Earlier this month, OEHHA (the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment agency) proposed a plan that would exempt coffee from Prop 65 required “cancer warning labels” in California after the most recent ruling in the ongoing legislation.

The statement was met with resounding support from scientists and coffee lovers alike.

“OEHHA’s Rulemaking is supported by both the full weight of scientific evidence and law,” wrote William “Bill” Murray, NCA President and CEO, in comments filed Aug. 30. The letter commended the decision and laid out the strong case for coffee in a scientific summary signed by Dr. Mark Corey, NCA’s Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, and Dr. Alan Leviton, Consultant to the NCA Scientific Advisory Group.

Simply put, the research speaks for itself: coffee does not cause cancer.

Then this week, in a groundbreaking announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Sacramento which emphatically set forth their support for this rule.

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IBM’s Coffee Delivery Drones Can Predict Your Next Cup

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The drones could read social cues and biometrics to dispatch caffeine when you need it

Because this doesn’t at all sound like the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where sentient technology withholds caffeine to control the human population, your coffee may one day be delivered by drone — before you even ask.

IBM has secured a patent for a coffee-delivering drone that reads social and biological cues to know when people will need their next caffeine pick-me-ups, reports USA Today.

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Which Type of Coffee Drinker Are You?

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New research identifies three main groups of caffeine sensitivity among individuals.

Genetic differences help explain why everyone experiences coffee’s effects differently.

via Coffee & Health

Coffee drinkers fall into one of three major groups based on their caffeine sensitivity, according to physician and author Dr J.W. Langer, in a new report authored for the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC).

The report, “Genetics, Metabolism and Individual Responses to Caffeine,” draws on existing research to explain how the body metabolizes caffeine, why some people are more affected by caffeine than others, and how healthcare professionals can take this into account when advising patients.

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