This Is Why Experts Think Coffee May Cause Cancer

This would be terrible news for caffeine junkies.

If you simply can't get through the day without coffee, we've got some bad news for you. It looks like your favorite way of staying awake also increases your risk of cancer, so much so that California is currently debating about whether or not to slap a "this product may cause cancer" label on a can of joe.

This week, the advocacy group Council for Education and Research on Toxics resumed a lawsuit that claims major retailers like Starbucks and Whole Foods are violating California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65—a 1986 state law that requires California citizens to be warned of anything that can increase the risk of cancer and other serious illnesses. It's because of this law that labels and signs reading, "Warning: this product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm," can be found in parking garages, kitty litter, ceramic plates, hotel lobbies, and various other places and products in the state of California.

Coffee's cancer risk is due to a substance called acrylamide, a chemical that can be found in food such as french fries, and a natural byproduct of the roasting process. While places like Starbucks have admitted that coffee contains this compound, they claim that the amount of it is harmless.

Regardless of who is right, there are other reasons to quit coffee. While coffee does have certain benefits, it also increases your stress hormones, decreases insulin sensitivity, and makes your stomach more acidic. It's also highly addictive, widely considered to be the world's only "accepted" drug.

And if you're looking to cut down but worried it'll inhibit your ability to stay awake, check out 25 Non-Coffee Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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