Feeling a little confused about how good or bad coffee really is for your health? Are you tired of contradicting studies saying one thing one day and denying it a week later? Well, it may be because there have been more than 500 studies on the dark beverage’s risks and benefits over the last six years.
Just this week, two new findings have emerged: one showing that coffee does not lead to cancer unless if it is too hot, and another one, which is the most interesting, revealing that the caffeinated beverage poses an “unclassifiable” risk for human health.
The findings were paradoxically published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in short IARC, which had found in the early 1990s that coffee might lead to bladder cancer.
IARC has now changed its stance and downgraded the threat. The group argued that coffee’s health risks are “unclassifiable” because not enough research had been conducted on humans despite the above mentioned hundreds of studies.
IARC’s Dana Loomis said that the agency cannot tell whether the beverage is completely safe to drink or not because finding evidence of a negative outcome on one’s health had proven “very difficult.”
While the group now thinks that the only health risk tied to coffee may be its temperature, critics believe that the recent study is just another piece of contradicting science.
Back in the ’70s and ’80s, several research papers found that coffee consumption is linked with a high risk of heart disease and hypertension. On the other hand, more recent research shows that java can in fact lower heart disease risk and shield the body against dementia and liver cancer.
Timothy Caulfield, researcher at University of Alberta who was not involved in the study, deemed the recent research another example of “flip-flopping of nutrition science.” He recalls that the same thing happened with red wine a few years ago.
Caulfield explained that nutrition science is not that clear as other scientific fields because it heavily relies on observational studies. As a result, nutrition researchers cannot prove that there is a cause-and-effect link between coffee consumption and a specific health outcome as there are too many variables to factor in.
The researcher added that, for example, it is impossible to find a group of coffee drinkers and a group of non-coffee drinkers that don’t change their dietary habits for 20 years for the sake of science.
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