Coffee’s Effects on Cancer – Benefit or Risk?

There has been lots of controversy lately on the health benefits and risks of coffee drinking. There are many studies that have shown a link between coffee drinking and good health, including reduced risk of cancers (including colon cancer), gout, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

There has also recently been recent controversy regarding Acrylamide in coffee. This is a cancer-causing chemical found in very small amounts in coffee. It forms during the roasting process and is virtually unavoidable. It also exists in many other foods we eat every day, such as bread, and is even in many of the personal care products we use.


In March of 2018, a California judge ruled under Prop65 to have coffee sellers label their coffee with a cancer warning. The legislation is on hold pending coffee companies being asked to provide counter statements.

Why I’m Not Concerned About Acrylamide in Coffee

  1. There’s plenty of evidence that coffee does not cause cancer and is even protective
  2. Coffee has been roasted and enjoyed for hundreds of years
  3. The levels of acrylamide shown to cause problems (in animal studies) are thousands of times higher than what the average person consumes
  4. Humans metabolize the chemical differently from animals, and we may be exposed to lower amounts.

So, for now, coffee lovers drink up! The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) states 3-5 cups of coffee each day can be included in a healthy lifestyle. Now, if you’re not a coffee lover, don’t go crazy trying to drink more! We don’t really know that these health associations are actually caused by coffee or other factors.

While you’re at it, let me suggest making a change in your diet that has unquestioned proven benefits — drinking more water. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated and it’s becoming an epidemic. Dehydration causes us to lose productivity during the day, is definitely bad for colon health, and makes us crave food and stimulants such as, yes, coffee.

And one more thing – if you’re going to drink your coffee the way I drink mine — with cream and sugar – these are definitely NOT healthy. Black coffee is best!

Karen Zaghiyan, MD

You Might Also Enjoy...

Emsella Chair - In Office Treatment

Emsella - The Non-Invasive Solution to Pelvic Health

Emsella is a non-surgical and completely non-invasive treatment for incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and pelvic floor weakness. A single 30-minute treatment delivers the equivalent of over 11000 kegles to restore and strengthen your pelvic floor.

Hemorrhoids - How to Prevent & Treat Without Surgery

We're all born with hemorrhoids. With time, pressure on these veins can lead to swelling and symptoms. Simple lifestyle changes can help undo most early damage and non-invasive hemorrhoid treatments can prevent progression and avoid hemorrhoid surgery.

A Letter to Patients With Crohn's Disease Considering Surgery

Deciding on surgery for Crohn's disease can be daunting. A board-certified colorectal surgeon in Los Angeles, and expert in inflammatory bowel disease and cancer surgery, Dr Zaghiyan writes a letter to describe how her minimally invasive approach may help.
Image by Glen Kelp from Pixabay

New Treatments for Anal Fistula - Stem Cells & More

Anal fistula can occur in anyone but individuals with Crohn's are at higher risk. New treatments including stem cells may change the treatment landscape. Learn from Dr Zaghiyan, a leading expert in the field of anal fistula surgery and stem cells.

Rectal Cancer - Management in the Modern Era

Rectal cancer is a cancer of the distal most portion of the large intestine. The management of rectal cancer involves a multidisciplinary team and new treatments are quickly becoming available to improve outcomes for patients.
Photo Credit: Jasmin Sessler;

Anal Skin Tags - How to Get Rid of Them for Good!

Anal skin tags are annoying growths around the anus that cause itching, irritation and pain. Many individuals are also just bothered by the cosmetic appearance of tags. In this blog, you will learn why anal skin tags occur and how to treat them.