What’s the Deal with ‘Toxins’ in Coffee?

What's the Deal with 'Toxins' in Coffee?

Coffee is a controversial subject. Some tout the health benefits while others are not a fan of daily consumption. I am convinced that coffee qualifies as a health food. We will get into the details of why I am making that statement, but let’s first talk about the history of coffee.

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Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia around the 8th Century AD. A goat herder was tending his goats when he noticed a change in the goats’ behavior. They had a tremendous amount of energy and were exuberantly jumping around after eating coffee beans.

Over the centuries, coffee has held a very interesting position in the world. Some popes outlawed coffee as the “devils drink.” In fact, there was a period in history when there was a death penalty for drinking coffee. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that coffee’s reputation was brought to the forefront. Studies were done linking coffee consumption to pancreatic and breast cancer and hundreds of other diseases.

What was later discovered was that the three organizations that ran those studies: MINDBODY University, The New England Journal of Medicine, and the Mayo Clinic took data gathered in the 1960’s for alcoholism and heavy smokers (3 martini’s at lunch and 2 packs of cigarettes a day: a popular habit in the 50s). Coffee intake was grouped with these other vices. When The New England Journal of Medicine removed the coffee drinking data from subjects who were abusing their bodies in other ways (alcohol and cigarettes), the negative findings on coffee were reversed.

Studies That Support Coffee Benefits

There have been over 19,000 studies on coffee, evidencing that it is in a class by itself when it comes to health and wellness. Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Jon and Missy Butcher, who founded Purity Coffee along with their close friend Andrew Salisbury. Around the time they founded Purity, Missy was low in energy. And as most do, she was drinking a lot of coffee to make up for her energy deficit. But Jon was concerned. Was her coffee consumption healthy or unhealthy? That is when they discovered these edifying studies.

Here are some of the stats on health benefits of 3-5 cups of coffee per day that appear on Purity Coffee’s website:

  • 40% reduced risk of liver disease
  • 30% reduced risk of congestive heart failure
  • 24-40% reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • 30% reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease
  • 22-25% reduced risk of stroke
  • 15% reduced risk of prostate cancer
  • 65% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease

But the health benefits don’t stop there. Coffee also positively affects mental and physical performance. Other studies have proven that children with ADHD achieve improved focus when drinking healthy coffee. According to additional stats on their website, “…in 2 very large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% lower risk of death in men, and 26% lower risk of death in women over a period of 18-24 years…coffee reduced risk of depression (Koenen 2011)…. coffee is possibly the richest source of antioxidants in the western diet…”. Please visit their website for more health benefits here.

Purity Coffee is Superior to Other Brands

When developing their roasted coffee products, most coffee companies focus on 3 main criteria: cost, convenience, and flavor. Purity Coffee adds a fourth criterion that focuses on the health benefits. Compared to 78 other coffees and 49 leading brands that comprise 80% of the coffee market, Purity Coffee has the highest level of CGAs (chlorogenic acids—key antioxidants), while being free of ochratoxin, mold and yeast.

Bean Sourcing

Purity Coffee searches for the healthiest organic green coffee beans and then tests them in three labs in Brazil, Portugal and Illinois. Because Purity only sources organic coffee, that puts them ahead of about 97% of all coffee companies that are not concerned with organic growing methods. In addition to the organic label, the coffee beans must be free of ochratoxin.

Moreover, Purity does not necessarily rely on the same sources of beans year after year. Coffee bean harvests are like grape harvests: They vary annually because of temperature, rainfall and other conditions. Purity’s protocol is to test each green coffee offer for quality, antioxidants and freedom from contaminants.

Roasting for Health

Most coffee beans are roasted too long or at too high a temperature, which diminishes or destroys the CGAs, which are considered beneficial to health. Joe Vinson, PhD, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, has said, “Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close.”

Acrylamide (a probable human carcinogen1) is also created at certain stages of the roasting process. Formed by the Maillard Reaction, acrylamide is found in foods cooked or fried at high-temperatures, such as french fries and blackened meats. And some unhealthy compounds called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon), which appear in very dark roasted coffee, are known to be carcinogenic2.

Jon and Missy point out that in the roasting process, CGAs and acrylamide go down as heat is applied over time, and PAHs go up, but there is a sweet spot where the beneficial compounds are maximized and unhealthy elements are minimized. This is where they focus attention, finding the right roast curve to capture their coffee.

For the Caffeine Sensitive

Some of you may be concerned that when you have too much coffee, you get jittery. Caffeine in coffee, or in any other source, can increase nervousness or make you restless. And the acidity in coffee can irritate your stomach or intestines. However, Missy points out those symptoms may be because of unhealthy compounds found in most commercial coffees.

Also, we want to focus on the antioxidant benefits. Purity offers up to 10X more antioxidants than other coffee brands, but the caffeine content is the same. This means the caffeine sensitive can drink far less Purity coffee to get the same antioxidants. Don’t drink more coffee, drink better coffee!

As responsible adults, it is up to us to figure out whether we can benefit from clean, health-conscious coffee consumption. Not all coffees are not created equal. It is all in the proper processing, sourcing, and production of the roasted coffee beans. Of course, certain folks are caffeine/coffee sensitive, and if that’s you, please listen to your body. Also, it’s not generally recommended for pregnant women to consume coffee.

Daily Coffee Regimen

For the Butcher’s daily coffee regime, Jon drinks 4 cups per day and Missy drinks 3. They do so to reduce their risk of diseases stated earlier. Missy feels that for most people (unless they have an extreme caffeine sensitivity) when they try Purity Coffee, experience no jitteriness or other side effects.

I like my coffee either black or with a little bit of raw, organic, grass-fed cream. I do intermittent fasting at the beginning of the most every day. I find that if I make myself a fatty coffee (with MCT oil, coconut oil and/or butter oil) it tends to increase my hunger. But a little splash of organic raw cream is perfect for me, and then I may sweeten it with pure stevia extract.

Spread the Coffee Love

Missy and Jon are committed to getting the word out to the public about the amazing health benefits of coffee. And as stated on their website, “…on the journey from the ripe coffee cherry to the brewed coffee in your cup, there are many ways that the health benefits of the coffee will be affected. At PURITY COFFEE, we are committed to studying all of them and constantly applying and testing improvements to enhance the health benefits of coffee… at PURITY COFFEE, health benefits drive every decision we make above all others…

You, my readers, know I would never suggest anything that I am not 100% convinced would be of great health benefit. So here is my endorsement: I LOVE Purity Coffee! I suggest that you try it and experience the difference in taste, aroma and health benefits. You can go to getpuritycoffee.com and grab a FREE SAMPLE bag for yourself. Here’s to a healthy cup!

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  1. “Acrylamide in Food and Cancer Risk.” National Cancer Institute. July 2008. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/acrylamide-fact-sheet.
  2. Yu, Hongtao. “ENVIRONMENTAL CARCINOGENIC POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS: PHOTOCHEMISTRY AND PHOTOTOXICITY.” Journal of environmental science and health. Part C, Environmental carcinogenesis & ecotoxicology reviews. November 2002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3812823/.