Medical studies haven't proven cancer risk in coffee



A California judge's ruling has given coffee consumers a major jolt, by demanding every cup of joe be labeled with a cancer warning. But the research behind the cancer risk of drinking coffee is not too strong. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle made the ruling Thursday. 

Although roasted coffee beans contain a carcinogen -- acrylamide -- it's unclear whether the levels are high enough to pose a health risk to humans, according to previous medical studies.

And if acrylamide causes cancer, it also would affect overly cooked or roasted starchy foods.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association said acrylamide is found in 40 percent of the calories consumed in the average U.S. diet, including coffee beans, french fries, potato chips, breakfast cereals and toast. It wasn't until 2002that scientists discovered the chemical in food.It's also found in cigarette smoke.

Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid that are naturally present in food.

The IARC, which is part of the World Health Organization of the United Nations, listed it as a possible carcinogen in 2015 because of its link to cancer in rodents.

But one year later it rescinded the warning after it asked 23 researchers to review more than 1,000 studies in humans and animals on consumption of coffee, finding "inadequate evidence" that drinking coffee is carcinogenic.


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