Cancer is the second leading death cause in the United States. As a result, so many people are looking for ways to prevent the disease. Coffee consumption and the risk of bladder cancer are significant concerns for most people. While some lifestyle factors can contribute to potential cancer risk, studies have shown that coffee consumption isn’t a primary risk factor for bladder cancer development. This article will discuss the science of coffee and the potential health benefits of consuming coffee.
The Science of Coffee
Lots of things influence your cup of coffee. Basically, coffee beans come from coffee plants. Once the cherries have matured, they are harvested, dried, and later roasted. After roasting, coffee beans are ground and used to brew your cup of joe. The chemical properties of coffee vary depending on the growth region, coffee beans processing, roasting, and the coffee brewing process.
Coffee beans contain around 800 different compounds that are produced during the roasting process. These compounds decompose during the roasting process to create a unique coffee smell. Some of the chemical compounds in coffee include caffeine, diterpene, phenol, chlorogenic acid, cafestol, quinic acid, antioxidants, and acrylamide, among others.
Does Coffee Cause Bladder Cancer?
While coffee consumption isn’t linked to bladder cancer, trace components such as acrylamide have raised concerns in the scientific community. Basically, acrylamide is a chemical compound that naturally forms in foods (primarily plant-based) due to high temperatures. Acrylamide forms when baking, cooking, frying, or roasting. As for coffee, acrylamide forms during the start of the roasting process of the coffee beans. As the coffee beans continue to roast, the concentration of the chemical substance decreases.
Studies conducted in animals concerning the effects of exposure to a high concentration of acrylamide to animals show that the chemical substance is a potential carcinogen (the substance that causes cancer). However, studies conducted on humans show no strong evidence of the acrylamide in foods causing any cancer type. Contrary to the belief, consuming the recommended amount of coffee has potential benefits in reducing the risks of some cancer types. Here’s what you need to know about coffee consumption and cancer risk.
Coffee Consumption and Other Cancer Types
Under this section, we’ll discuss the effects of coffee on kidney and prostate cancer.
According to research, there’s no strong evidence linking coffee consumption to kidney cancer. Additionally, coffee consumption doesn’t increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, some studies link coffee consumption to reduced risk of prostate cancer. Studies conducted in 2011 showed that drinking coffee reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 21% compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Does Drinking Coffee Prevent Cancer?
An average American drinks three cups of coffee daily. Generally, Americans consume approximately 400 million cups of coffee per day. Usually, most people rely on coffee to wake them up and energize them for the day. As mentioned earlier, coffee beans contain numerous compounds, including antioxidants, diterpenes, and chlorogenic acid, that are believed to have multiple health benefits, such as reducing the risks of some cancers and anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Thousands of studies conducted on this theory have had mixed-up results. Some show coffee consumption as a potential cause of cancer, while others show coffee consumption as potentially beneficial to reducing some cancer types.
That said, the newest and most studies show that coffee consumption lowers the risks of cancers such as liver, mouth and throat, prostate, and endometrial. Specifically, coffee consumption lowers the risk of endometrial cancer through an insulin-mediated mechanism or by reducing estrogen levels. On the other hand, coffee consumption can help protect against liver cancer by increasing insulin sensitivity levels. Last but not least, the effect of coffee on liver metabolism and digestive tract motility can help reduce the risk of some digestive cancers.
However, most of these studies recommend drinking 4 to 6 cups of joe daily, which may be a lot. Not to mention, high caffeine consumption can cause severe side effects such as migraines, lack of sleep, digestive problems, depression, and anxiety, among others. Additionally, consuming coffee with additives such as cream and sugars can lead to weight gain, which increases cancer risks.
Generally, if you’re looking to reduce cancer risk, avoid smoking, eat well, and keep your body active. Additionally, if you want to increase the number of antioxidants you consume, consider adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Usually, consuming more sources of antioxidants will help lower cancer risk.
Are there Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee?
There are other potential health benefits of consuming coffee. This results from the healthy compounds, such as antioxidants, found in coffee. Some of the other potential benefits of drinking coffee include the following:
- Promoting weight loss – high physical activity as a result of increased energy from caffeine in coffee can help promote weight loss
- Increasing your energy levels – Caffeine in coffee is a natural stimulant that helps increase your energy levels and decrease fatigue.
- Lowering the risk of type 2 Diabetes – coffee can preserve beta cells in your pancreas that help regulate your blood sugar levels.
- Supporting brain health – coffee helps support brain health by helping protect against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Lowering the risk of depression – coffee consumption reduces the risk of depression and death by suicide.
- Supporting heart health – coffee consumption is linked to reduced heart failure, heart disease, and stroke risk.
- Protecting against liver conditions – coffee consumption decreases the risk of liver conditions such as liver scarring and cancer.
Drinking coffee in moderation is linked to the above potential benefits. However, breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women should avoid coffee consumption. Additionally, people with certain health conditions, children, and adolescents should limit their coffee consumption.
How Much Coffee Should One Drink?
The recommended amount of coffee you should drink daily is three to four cups or up to 400mg of caffeine. Remember that caffeine is also present in your medications, foods, and other drinks, such as cola and energy drinks. Therefore, apart from coffee, you need to also monitor the caffeine in different things you consume daily. Additionally, caffeine in coffee varies depending on the type of coffee beverage that you consume. For example, the caffeine content in your regular coffee cup differs from that in your espresso shot.
Equally important, consider the number of calories in your brew if you want to lose weight. Additives such as coffee creams and sugars add to the number of calories in your cup of joe. That said, you’re recommended to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. As mentioned earlier, taking too much caffeine can have severe effects, such as migraines, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.
Generally, moderate coffee consumption isn’t linked to the risk of bladder cancer. Additionally, there are other potential benefits of drinking coffee moderately. Therefore, there’s no need to give up on your cup of joe. Coffee naturally contains compounds such as antioxidants, caffeine, diterpenes, and chlorogenic acid that are healthy for your body. Most importantly, remember that excessive caffeine consumption can lead to severe effects. Therefore, stick to the recommended caffeine consumption of 400 milligrams per day.
Related: Does Coffee Cause Pancreatic Cancer?