Coffee: Good, Bad or Ugly? by Maria Dorfner

Nearly 90 percent of American adults drink coffee on a regular basis.  Let’s look at studies in the past 4 years to gain some perspective and try to get to the bottom of the good, the bad and the ugly in your cup of  joe.
Warning:  You’ll need a double shot of espresso before reading this.
Ultimately, you decide.  It’s your body.  It’s your  health.  My feeling is as long as you’re aware of the good, bad and ugly and you’re not just presented with one side of the story –you can make the best decision for your own well-being.
Just don’t tell me “researchers in China” who were paid to do a study are going to tell me what is good for me.  Or  you.
I decided kicking my coffee habit 7 years ago, was the best thing I ever did for my health.  But it wasn’t easy, so I understand and empathize with anyone who loves their java, as I once did.   There are tips at the end of this article for anyone who needs help with kicking the coffee habit.
Until then, remember that each time you buy coffee, you put money in a companies pocket.  When those large corporations are able to fund studies or pay physicians to say this or that —it raises a red flag.  When it comes to your health you can’t take things at face value.

Lets face it, if you’re drinking coffee –you probably love it and don’t want to hear any bad news.  In fact, any good news makes you more excited than you already are from the coffee. You jittery?  Go ahead, deny it.

Health effects of coffee according to WIKIPEDIA:


The health effects of coffee have been studied to determine how coffee drinking affects humans. Coffee contains several compounds which are known to affect human body chemistry. The coffee bean itself contains chemicals which are mild psychotropics for humans as a defense mechanism of the Coffea plant.

These chemicals are toxic in large doses, or even in their normal amount when consumed by many creatures which may otherwise have threatened the beans in the wild. Coffee contains caffeine, which acts as a stimulant.

Recent research has uncovered additional stimulating effects of coffee which are not related to its caffeine content. Coffee contains a currently unknown chemical agent which stimulates the production of cortisone and adrenaline, two stimulating hormones.[1]

For occasions when one wants to enjoy the flavor of coffee with almost no stimulation, decaffeinated coffee (also called decaf) is available.

This is coffee from which most of the caffeine has been removed, by the Swiss water process (which involves the soaking of raw beans to remove the caffeine) or the use of a chemical solvent such as trichloroethylene (“tri“), or the more popular methylene chloride, in a similar process. Another solvent used is ethyl acetate; the resultant decaffeinated coffee is marketed as “natural decaf” because ethyl acetate is naturally present in fruit. Extraction withsupercritical carbon dioxide has also been employed.

Decaffeinated coffee usually loses some flavor compared to normal coffee. There are also coffee alternatives that resemble coffee in taste but contain no caffeine (see below). These are available both in ground form for brewing and in instant form.

Caffeine dependency and withdrawal symptoms are well-documented.


Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and DementiaBenefits

Several studies comparing moderate coffee drinkers (defined as 3–5 cups per day) with light coffee drinkers (defined as 0–2 cups per day) found that those who drank more coffee were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life.[2][3] A longitudinal study in 2009 found that moderate coffee drinkers had reduced risk of developing dementia in addition to Alzheimer’s disease.[4]

Reduced risk of gallstone disease

Drinking caffeinated coffee has been correlated with a lower incidence of gallstones and gallbladder disease in both men[5] and women[6] in two studies performed by the Harvard School of Public Health. A lessened risk was not seen in those who drank decaffeinated coffee. A recent study showed that roast coffee protected primary neuronal cells against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death.[7]

Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease

A study comparing heavy coffee drinkers (3.5 cups a day) with non-drinkers found that the coffee drinkers were significantly less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease later in life.[8] Likewise, a second study found an inverse relationship between the amount of coffee regularly drank and the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.[9]

Cognitive performance

Many people drink coffee for its ability to increase short term recall.[10]

Likewise, in tests of simple reaction time, choice reaction time, incidental verbal memory, and visuospatial reasoning, participants who regularly drank coffee were found to perform better on all tests, with a positive relationship between test scores and the amount of coffee regularly drunk. Elderly participants were found to have the largest effect associated with regular coffee drinking.[11] Another study found that women over the age of 80 performed significantly better on cognitive tests if they had regularly drunk coffee over their lifetimes.[12]

Analgesic enhancement

Coffee contains caffeine, which increases the effectiveness of pain killers, especially migraine and headache medications.[13] For this reason, many over-the-counter headache drugs include caffeine in their formula.


Coffee intake may reduce one’s risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 by up to half. While this was originally noticed in patients who consumed high amounts (7 cups a day), the relationship was later shown to be linear.[14][15]

Liver protection

Coffee can also reduce the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver[16] and has been linked to a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, a primary liver cancer that usually arises in patients with preexisting cirrhosis.[17] The exact mechanism and the amount of coffee needed to achieve a beneficial effect have long been unclear.[18] The cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF) beta has long been recognized for promoting fibrosis ability acting through the Smad family of transcription factors. In an interesting report recently published in the Journal of Hepatology, Gressner and colleagues provide the first mechanistic context for the epidemiological studies on coffee drinkers by showing that caffeine may have potent anti-fibrotic capabilities through its ability to antagonize the Smad pathway.[19]


Coffee consumption is also correlated to a reduced risk of oralesophageal, and pharyngeal cancer.[20][21] In ovarian cancer, no benefit was found.[22] In the Nurses’ Health Study, a modest reduction in breast cancer was observed in postmenopausal women only, which was not confirmed in decaffeinated coffee,[23] and a reduction in endometrial cancer was observed in people who drank either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.[24] According to one study, coffee protects the liver from cancer.[25] Another preliminary study found a correlation between coffee consumption and a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer.[26]


Coffee moderately reduces the incidence of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a large prospective cohort study published in 2008.[27] A 2009 prospective study in Japan following nearly 77,000 individuals aged 40 to 79 found that coffee consumption, along with caffeine intake, was associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.[28]


Coffee is also a powerful stimulant for peristalsis and is sometimes considered to prevent constipation. However, coffee can also cause excessively loose bowel movements. The stimulative effect of coffee consumption on the colon is found in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.[29][30]

Practitioners in alternative medicine often recommend coffee enemas for “cleansing of the colon” due to its stimulus of peristalsis, although medicine has not proven any benefits of the practice.

Contrary to popular belief, caffeine does not act as a diuretic when consumed in moderation (less than five cups a day or 500 to 600 milligrams), and does not lead to dehydration or to a water-electrolyte imbalance; current evidence suggests that caffeinated beverages contribute to the body’s daily fluid requirements no differently from pure water.[31][32][33][34]


Coffee contains the anticancer compound methylpyridinium. This compound is not present in significant amounts in other foods. Methylpyridinium is not present in raw coffee beans but is formed during the roasting process from trigonelline, which is common in raw coffee beans. It is present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and even in instant coffee.[35] Research funded by Kraftshows that roast coffee contains more lipophilic antioxidants and chlorogenic acid lactones and is more protective against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death in primary neuronal cells than green coffee.[7] The espresso method of extraction yields higher antioxidant activity than other brewing methods.[36]

Prevention of dental caries

The tannins in coffee may reduce the cariogenic potential of foods. In vitro experiments have shown that these polyphenolic compounds may interfere with glucosyltransferase activity of mutans streptococci, which may reduce plaque formation.[37]


Coffee consumption decreased risk of gout in men over age 40. In a large study of over 45,000 men over a 12-year period, the risk for developing gout in men over 40 was inversely proportional with the amount of coffee consumed.[38]


Science News


Why Coffee Protects Against Diabetes

ScienceDaily (Jan. 13, 2011) — Coffee, that morning elixir, may give us an early jump-start to the day, but numerous studies have shown that it also may be protective against type 2 diabetes. Yet no one has really understood why.

Now, researchers at UCLA have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind coffee’s protective effect. A protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) regulates the biological activity of the body’s sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which have long been thought to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. And coffee consumption, it turns out, increases plasma levels of SHBG.

Reporting with colleagues in the current edition of the journal Diabetes, first author Atsushi Goto, a UCLA doctoral student in epidemiology, and Dr. Simin Liu, a professor of epidemiology and medicine with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, show that women who drink at least four cups of coffee a day are less than half as likely to develop diabetes as non-coffee drinkers.

When the findings were adjusted for levels of SHBG, the researchers said, that protective effect disappeared.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 24 million children and adults in the U.S. — nearly 8 percent of the population — have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of these cases.

Early studies have consistently shown that an “inverse association” exists between coffee consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes, Liu said. That is, the greater the consumption of coffee, the lesser the risk of diabetes. It was thought that coffee may improve the body’s tolerance to glucose by increasing metabolism or improving its tolerance to insulin.

“But exactly how is elusive,” said Liu, “although we now know that this protein, SHBG, is critical as an early target for assessing the risk and prevention of the onset of diabetes.”

Earlier work by Liu and his colleagues published in the New England Journal of Medicine had identified two mutations in the gene coding for SHBG and their effect on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes; one increases risk while the other decreases it, depending on the levels of SHBG in the blood.

A large body of clinical studies has implicated the important role of sex hormones in the development of type 2 diabetes, and it’s known that SHBG not only regulates the sex hormones that are biologically active but may also bind to receptors in a variety of cells, directly mediating the signaling of sex hormones.

“That genetic evidence significantly advanced the field,” said Goto, “because it indicated that SHBG may indeed play a causal role in affecting risk for type 2 diabetes.”

“It seems that SHBG in the blood does reflect a genetic susceptibility to developing type 2 diabetes,” Liu said. “But we now further show that this protein can be influenced by dietary factors such as coffee intake in affecting diabetes risk — the lower the levels of SHBG, the greater the risk beyond any known diabetes risk factors.”

For the study, the researchers identified 359 new diabetes cases matched by age and race with 359 apparently healthy controls selected from among nearly 40,000 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Study, a large-scale cardiovascular trial originally designed to evaluate the benefits and risks of low-dose aspirin and vitamin E in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

They found that women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee each day had significantly higher levels of SHBG than did non-drinkers and were 56 percent less likely to develop diabetes than were non-drinkers. And those who also carried the protective copy of the SHBG gene appeared to benefit the most from coffee consumption.

When the investigators controlled for blood SHBG levels, the decrease in risk associated with coffee consumption was not significant. This suggests that it is SHBG that mediates the decrease in risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Liu said.

And there’s bad news for decaf lovers. “Consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not significantly associated with SHBG levels, nor diabetes risk,” Goto said. “So you probably have to go for the octane!”

Other authors of the study included Brian Chen, of UCLA, and Julie Buring, JoAnn Manson and Yiqing Song, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health. No conflicts of interest were reported by the authors. Original by Mark Wheeler.

Coffee Health Benefits : Coffee may protect against disease


It’s surprising when something that was once considered questionable for your health turns out to have health benefits, usually with the proviso to use it “in moderation.” That happened with chocolate and alcohol, and now it is coffee’s turn, reports the February issue of the Harvard Health Letter. Here’s some of the mostly good news about coffee:

Blood pressure. Results from long-term studies are showing that coffee may not increase the risk for high blood pressure over time, as previously thought. Study findings for other cardiovascular effects are a mixed bag.

Cancer. Coffee might have anti-cancer properties. Last year, researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than nondrinkers. A few studies have found ties to lower rates of colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

Cholesterol. Two substances in coffee — kahweol and cafestol — raise cholesterol levels. Paper filters capture these substances, but that doesn’t help the many people who now drink non-filtered coffee drinks, such as lattes. Researchers have also found a link between cholesterol increases and decaffeinated coffee, possibly because of the type of bean used to make certain decaffeinated coffees.

Diabetes. Heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as light drinkers or nondrinkers. Coffee may contain chemicals that lower blood sugar. A coffee habit may also increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help keep diabetes at bay.

Parkinson’s disease. Coffee seems to protect men, but not women, against Parkinson’s disease. One possible explanation for the sex difference may be that estrogen and caffeine need the same enzymes to be metabolized, and estrogen captures those enzymes.





Over 1,000 chemicals have been reported in roasted coffee, and 19 are known rodent carcinogens;[39] however, most substances cited as rodent carcinogens occur naturally and should not be assumed to be carcinogenic in humans at exposure levels typically experienced in day-to-day life.[39]

Gastrointestinal problems

Coffee can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal organs, causing gastritis and ulcers. The consumption of coffee is therefore not recommended for people with gastritis, colitis, and ulcers.[40]

Anxiety and sleep changes

Many coffee drinkers are familiar with “coffee jitters”, a nervous condition that occurs when one has had too much caffeine. It can also cause anxiety and irritability, in some with excessive coffee consumption, and some as a withdrawal symptom. Coffee can also cause insomnia in some. In others it can cause narcolepsy.[41]


2007 study by the Baylor College of Medicine indicates that the diterpene molecules cafestol and kahweol, found only in coffee beans, may raise levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL in humans.[42] This increase in LDL levels is an indicator that coffee raises cholesterol. The Baylor study suggests a possible link between cafestol, kahweol and higher levels of cholesterol in the body.

Paper coffee filters have a property that binds to lipid-like compounds which allows the filter to remove most of the cafestol and kahweol found in coffee. Brew methods which do not use a paper filter, such as the use of a press pot, do not remove cafestol and kahweol from the final brewed product.[43][44]

Blood pressure

Caffeine has previously been implicated in increasing the risk of high blood pressure; however, recent studies have not confirmed any association. In a 12-year study of 155,000 female nurses, large amounts of coffee did not induce a “risky rise in blood pressure”[45] .[46] Previous studies had already shown statistically insignificant associations between coffee drinking and clinical hypertension. Effect of coffee on morbidity and mortality due to its effect on blood pressure is too weak, and has not been studied. Other positive and negative effects of coffee on health would be difficult confounding factors.[1]

Effects on pregnancy

Caffeine molecules are small enough to penetrate the placenta and slip into the baby’s blood circulation. Unlike adults, organs and systems in fetuses are not full-fledged, therefore not capable of fully metabolizing caffeine and excreting it. The energy booster tends to linger in the fetus’s blood ten times longer than in adults. High levels of caffeine are bound to accumulate in the baby’s body with frequent maternal consumption of caffeine. Just like what it does to adults, caffeine could also send the baby’s pulse and breathing rate racing and affect its sleep pattern for an extended duration.[47]

A February 2003 Danish study of 18,478 women linked heavy coffee consumption during pregnancy to significantly increased risk of stillbirths (but no significantly increased risk of infant death in the first year). “The results seem to indicate a threshold effect around four to seven cups per day,” the study reported. Those who drank eight or more cups a day (64 U.S. fl oz or 1.89 L) were at 220% increased risk compared with nondrinkers. This study has not yet been repeated, but has caused some doctors to caution against excessive coffee consumption during pregnancy.[48]

Decaffeinated coffee is also regarded as a potential health risk to pregnant women when chemical solvents are used to extract the caffeine instead of other less invasive processes. The impact of these chemicals is debated, however, as the solvents in question evaporate at 80–90 °C, and coffee beans are decaffeinated before roasting, which occurs at approximately 200 °C. As such, these chemicals, namely trichloroethane and methylene chloride, are present in trace amounts at most, and may not pose a significant threat to embryos and fetuses.[citation needed]

Iron deficiency anemia

Coffee consumption can lead to iron deficiency anemia in mothers and infants.[49] Coffee also interferes with the absorption of supplemental iron.[50]

Coronary artery disease

A 2004 study tried to discover why the beneficial and detrimental effects of coffee conflict. The study concluded that consumption of coffee is associated with significant elevations in biochemical markers of inflammation. This is a detrimental effect of coffee on the cardiovascular system, which may explain why coffee has so far only been shown to help the heart at levels of four cups (24 fl oz or 600 mL) or fewer per day.[51]

The health risks of decaffeinated coffee have been studied, with varying results. One variable is the type of decaffeination process used; while some involve the use of organic solvents which may leave residual traces, others rely on steam.[citation needed]

A study has shown that cafestol, a substance which is present in boiled coffee drinks, dramatically increases cholesterol levels, especially in women. Filtered coffee contains only trace amounts of cafestol.

Polymorphisms in the CYP1A2 gene may lead to a slower metabolism of caffeine. In patients with a slow version of the enzyme the risk for myocardial infarction (heart attack) is increased by a third (2–3 cups) to two thirds (>4 cups). The risk was more marked in people under the age of 59.[52]

A Harvard study conducted over the course of 20 years of 128,000 people published in 2006 concluded that there was no evidence to support the claim that coffee consumption itself increases the risk of coronary heart disease. The study did, however, show a correlation between heavy consumption of coffee and higher degrees of exposure to other coronary heart disease risk factors such as smoking, greater alcohol consumption, and lack of physical exercise.[53] The results apply only to coffee filtered through paper filters, which excludes boiled coffee and espresso, for example. Additionally, the lead researcher on this study acknowledged that subsets of the larger group may be at risk for heart attack when drinking multiple cups of coffee a day due to genetic differences in metabolizing caffeine.[citation needed]

The Iowa Women’s Health Study showed that women who consumed coffee actually had fewer cardiovascular disease incidents and lower cancer rates than the general population. For women who drank 6 or more cups, the benefit was even greater. However, this study excluded 35% of its original participants who already had cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases when the study began. Since participants were all over the age of 55, no good conclusion can be drawn about the long term effect of coffee drinking on heart disease from this study.[54]




My analysis has determined that Government funded studies are PRO-COFFEE.  Let’s ask why.  Independent studies are ANTI-COFFEE.

Four cups seems to be the safest bet if there is no way someone is going to pull that morning cup of java away from you.  Meantime, let’s look at some of the latest studies.

LATEST NEWS as of January 20, 2012.  First, here’s the article that raised a red flag in my mind. It was first published on January 18, 2012, but began trending today. So, other media outlets were jumping on the java bandwagon.

Why heavy coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of diabetes

AFP Relax News – Wed, Jan 18, 2012

  • Why heavy coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of diabetes

Research shows that heavy coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and now scientists in China may have discovered why.

Prior studies have shown that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 50 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, and that every extra cup of coffee brings another decrease in risk of almost seven percent.

Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan University, and Wuhan Institute of Biotechnology in China have cited the protective benefits of compounds in coffee that inhibit a substance called human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), which has been linked to diabetes, stated science and health news website Science Daily last week in a report on the new study. The study appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemisty.

Last year, a Harvard University study in the US found that drinking coffee, either decaf or regular, can ward off the risk of deadly prostate cancer. Another recent study found that women who drank five or more cups of coffee a day were 57 percent less likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer.

More good news for coffee lovers? Coffee has also been shown to improve brain function in mice studies, with researchers probing the possibility of using coffee as a treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Still health experts don’t recommend too much coffee. The US-based Mayo Clinic suggests no more than two to four cups a day, since more than that can cause insomnia, upset stomach, and anxiety.

This article made me suspicious. I don’t know why. But when I get that “feeling” my Nancy Drew instincts kick in. Why are scientists in China cheerleaders for coffee? Hmmm.  Well, check out this WALL STREET JOURNAL article.

Starbucks to Open China Coffee Farm, Securing Global Supply


PUER, ChinaStarbucks Corp. signed a deal with the Chinese provincial government of Yunnan to set up its first-ever coffee-bean farm in the world to cater to a rapidly growing population of coffee drinkers in China amid a global battle for quality coffee beans.

In the southwest province steeped in thousands of years of tea production, the Seattle-based coffee chain is hiring and training local coffee growers. The hope is that Chinese-grown arabica beans, a bitter-earthy variety, will fill the cups of a culture that is acquiring a growing taste for coffee.

A new Yunnan province coffee-bean farm marks the first time Starbucks will grow its own coffee, as the U.S. chain eyes further expansion in China. Video courtesy of Reuters.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultzsaid the company will work with farmers to improve yields and incomes.

“This creates a significant statement about our commitment to doing business in China and doing business the right way,” Mr. Schultz said. The first beans will be harvested in three years. Mr. Schultz declined to offer financial details of the investment.

China’s thirst for coffee is surging. Coffee sales climbed 9% last year to 4.6 billion yuan ($694 million), according to research company Euromonitor International. Starbucks currently operates 400 stores in mainland China and has plans to open a thousand more in the coming years, Mr. Schultz said, without being more specific.

China is poised to become Starbucks’ second-largest market behind the U.S., overtaking Canada, Japan and the U.K.

Starbucks’ 2010 revenue jumped to $10.7 billion, up 9.5% from 2009.  International store sales increased 6%. The company, which has a nearly 70% market share in China, according to Euromonitor, declined to provide specific information on its growth in the country. Starbucks is in its second year of recovery after cutting $600 million from its operating costs. U.S. sales are picking up, but the company isn’t opening new stores there. Starbucks is looking for new ways to grow.

Some analysts say the company’s recent decision to discontinue a supermarket distribution contract with Kraft Foods Inc. signals that it will further move from its retail roots into more packaged-goods production. Starbucks will begin selling coffee machines in the U.S. market, Mr. Schultz said, declining to give a timeline.

Fierce competition is brewing in China. McDonald’s Corp. is rolling out new McCafés and adding coffee bars to some existing outlets across China. China Resources EnterpriseLtd, a Hong Kong-based company that currently operates 90 Pacific Coffee chains in Asia, has 1,000 new China outlets in its pipeline, according to the company.  Costa Coffee, owned by Britain’s Whitbread, PLC, is cranking out more than 250 new stores in the next three years.

Coffee distributors are all bidding against one another for a limited supply of high-quality beans.  Aging trees farmed year-after-year in Central and South America are producing lackluster, bland yields, and companies are desperate for new supplies. Nestlé SA is investing $487 million in a decade-long global effort to train and supply thousands of farmers across the globe—from Mexico to Indonesia—with new coffee trees, according to Nestlé.

Global arabica-bean prices are up more than 50% this year and are near 13-year highs due to bad weather and failing crops in Colombia and Central America. To absorb the higher costs, Starbucks in September raised the prices of some hard-to-make and larger-sized drinks, though in the U.S. only. Prices in China, which average $5 for a java chip frappuccino, didn’t change.

China exerts a big influence on markets for commodities such as oil, copper and soybeans, but isn’t a focus for the coffee market. That looks set to change with Starbucks’ foray. In addition, China’s potential as a quality coffee producer is in sharp contrast to Asian nations’ current reputation as suppliers of a low-quality robusta beans.

Starbucks is hoping that the quality of its Yunnan-grown coffee will be good enough to sell globally. Despite high raw ingredient prices, the partnership with China’s Yunnan provincial government isn’t about buying cheaper quality, said Mr. Schultz. “We strongly believe it will be as good in the cup as the coffee we currently buy in other markets,” he said.

Elevating Yunnan’s arabica quality may be a tall order. The company used Chinese beans to launch a special coffee line last year called “South of the Clouds,” which is the literal translation of Yunnan. Due to lack of quality and quantity, “South of the Clouds” became a blend. It was offered only in China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Company executives haven’t determined how they will market the new coffee in China and internationally, Starbucks said. The Yunnan-grown beans will be shipped to the U.S. for roasting. A roasting plant in Asia is inevitable, though the timing hasn’t yet been pegged, said Mr. Schultz.

Until now, Yunnan’s beans have been used only for lower-quality instant coffees. Nestlé, which has a 68% share of the instant market, started buying beans from Yunnan in the late 1980s. Since then, other leading coffee companies, such as Kraft Foods and Maxwell House, have been buying China’s arabica.

Starbucks plans to offer its Via instant coffee in China, but Mr. Schultz said he hasn’t settled on a date. “Consumers here need to develop a better understanding of the coffee culture first,” he said.

China has over the past decade encouraged farmers to swap out tea for coffee to bring in higher revenue and tax dollars. The Yunnan government plans to increase the amount of land it allocates for coffee growing and plans to invest three billion yuan in the next decade to increase coffee production to 200,000 tons annually from 38,000 tons.

Starbucks’ Chinese consumers have a long way to go to catch up to drinkers in other markets. Single-store sales in China average $600,000 compared to $1 million in the U.S., according to John Glass, a Morgan Stanley analyst.

Growth in China won’t be a problem, Mr. Schultz said. “We’re watching growth in smaller cities mirror what happened in Beijing and Shanghai,” he said. “It gives us confidence about long-term profitability.”

—Sue Feng contributed to this article.

USA TODAY chimed in:

Your morning “cup of Joe” may do more than deliver the jolt you need to get going — it may also help you stave off type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

"The beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes may be partly due to the ability of the major coffee components and metabolites to inhibit the toxic aggregation of hIAPP," said Ling Zheng,H. Darr Beiser, USATODAY

  • “The beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes may be partly due to the ability of the major coffee components and metabolites to inhibit the toxic aggregation of hIAPP,” said Ling Zheng,

H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

“The beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes may be partly due to the ability of the major coffee components and metabolites to inhibit the toxic aggregation of hIAPP,” said Ling Zheng,

Past research has suggested a link between coffee and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and now Chinese researchers behind the new study think they may know why that may be so. They found three major compounds in coffee that may provide potentially beneficial effects: caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeine.

“These findings suggest that the beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes mellitus may be partly due to the ability of the major coffee components and metabolites to inhibit the toxic aggregation of hIAPP (human islet amyloid polypeptide),” Ling Zheng, professor of cellular biology at Wuhan University in China, and colleagues wrote.

Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) is a substance normally found in the pancreas, according to background information in the study. Sometimes, however, abnormal protein deposits (toxic aggregation) arise from hIAPP. These abnormal deposits (amyloid fibrils) are found in people with type 2 diabetes, the study authors said.

The researchers wondered if blocking formation of these deposits could help prevent or treat type 2 diabetes, the more common form of the blood sugar disorder. The next step would be to find a substance that might prevent these deposits.

In 2009, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that people who drank the most coffee seemed to have the lowest risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That study reported that with each cup of coffee consumed daily, the risk of type 2 diabetes dropped by 7 percent.

So, the researchers behind the new study conducted laboratory experiments to see if compounds found in coffee could inhibit the production of the abnormal protein deposits associated with hIAPP.

Caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeine — the three most common components in coffee, the study authors said — helped reduce the abnormal protein deposits, but caffeic acid appeared most effective.

“Our results suggest that caffeic acid had the greatest effects in the major components of coffee. The rankings for beneficial effects of coffee compounds against the toxic hIAPP aggregation are caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeine,” Zheng and study co-author Kun Huang, professor of biological pharmacy at the Huazhong University of Science & Technology in Wuhan, explained in an email interview.

Because decaffeinated coffee contains even higher levels of caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid than caffeinated coffee, the beneficial effect may be even stronger for decaffeinated coffee, they added.

The investigators pointed out that this work has only been done in cells, so it’s not clear if this is how coffee might help prevent diabetes in the body.

A U.S. diabetes expert was guardedly optimistic about the study’s conclusions.

“Scientifically, this is a very nice paper, but it has its limitations,” said Dr. Vivian Fonseca, president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association. “This was done in cells, not in animals or people. We also don’t know if the (abnormal deposits arising from hIAPP) are the most important thing in the development of type 2 diabetes, or if it’s something that develops later.”

In addition, Fonseca said, the study that found a link between a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and coffee was an epidemiological study. That means the study couldn’t prove cause and effect, only that there was an association between those two factors. It could be that people who drink coffee have other habits that lower their risk of diabetes.

The bottom line, said Fonseca, is it’s way too soon to make any recommendations about drinking coffee to prevent diabetes. But, he added, “if you want to prevent diabetes, there are some very straightforward things to do. You can walk for 30 minutes most days of the week, and reduce calories a little bit and reduce your weight a little.”

Zheng and Huang also pointed out that their study looked strictly at coffee. “Our study does not imply that the cream and sugar served with coffee will be beneficial for type 2 diabetes,” they said.

The study was funded by grants from various Chinese governmental agencies.

Results of the study were published recently in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

On the Web:, the American Diabetes Association has more about preventing type 2 diabetes.

A number of older studies have shown that caffeine may increase your risk of developing diabetes. The theory is that the beneficial chemicals are able to offset the damage done by the caffeine. So drinking decaffeinated coffee would be the best bet if you are thinking of drinking coffee to prevent diabetes.

Tea also has an effect on diabetes. Drinking tea can improve insulin activity up to 15 times, and it can be black, green or oolong. Herbal teas don’t have any effect. The active compounds don’t last long in the body, so you would have to drink a cup or more of tea every few hours to maintain the benefit. The catch is that you should drink it without milk(even soy milk), because milk seems to interact with the necessary chemicals and render them unavailable to your body.

A Double Shot Of Profits For Coffee Stocks

Posted: Feb 22, 2011 11:15 AM by Billy Fisher
Filed Under: Stock Analysis,Stocks
Tickers in this Article: CBOUGMCRSBUXSJM

The temperature is getting hotter in the kitchen for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq:GMCR). Green Mountain, the maker of the Keurig single-serve coffee brewers, has seen its stock price rise 46.7% over the course of the last year. Over the last five years, the stock is up a ridiculous 1,285.0%. Investors looking for a pullback in this stock have been waiting a while, but finally got their opportunity on Thursday as the stock shed 7.7%.

A Battle Brewing
The drop in the price of GMCR shares seems to have been triggered by an internal memo at Starbucks (Nasdaq:SBUX) from the company’s CEO Howard Schultz. Various media outlets have reported that the memo indicated that Starbucks is readying itself to take aim at the single-serve coffee market that has been dominated by Green Mountain for some time now.

Although the specifics of Schultz’s plan are unknown to the public at this time, Schultz did indicate in his memo that the single-serve market is a $4 billion segment and is growing faster than any other segment in the global coffee industry.

Caribou Coffee Company (Nasdaq:CBOU), another competitor of Starbucks, already produces K-Cups that are compatible with Keurig brewers. Investors trying to gauge the current health of the coffee market need to look no further than Thursday’s fiscal Q3 earnings release from J. M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) which showed that the company was able to pass off higher coffee prices to consumers in order to top analysts’ estimates.

The sector has already been immensely profitable for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which has been posting staggering top line and bottom line growth. In its recently reported Q1, the company put up a 67% increase in non-GAAP operating income over the prior year quarter. Net sales also surged 67% over the same time period.

The Bottom Line
It could be some time before we see how this battle between Green Mountain and Starbucks will play itself out. One thing seems to be certain, though, and that is that Starbucks is not going to sit back and let Green Mountain have a free pass in the single-serve market.

Starbucks is already making moves and last Tuesday it announced a deal in which it will partner with Courtesy Products to bring its coffee in a single-serve format to guests in 500,000 luxury and premium hotel rooms across the U.S. The question of the hour now is what the company’s next move will be on the single-serve front?  (Reading between the lines to decipher a company’s true financial condition is the key to understanding earnings reports. Check out How To Decode A Company’s Earnings Reports.)


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If you can’t quit coffee, stick with no more than 4 cups per day or switch to Decaf or better yet, water.



If caffeine owns you, it might be time to reassert yourself. Here’s what to do and what to avoid.

(Vetta photo)
October 19, 2011|By Julie Deardorff, Tribune Newspapers, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

For most people, a morning cup of java isn’t harmful. But if you rely on coffee to get you out of bed, to stave off midmorning headaches and to avoid the 3 p.m. crash, you may be hooked on one of the most popular drugs in the world.

Nearly 90 percent of American adults drink coffee on a regular basis. More than 50 percent of adults, meanwhile, consume just over three cups of coffee a day.

But caffeine is a tricky stimulant to shake. Though tolerance levels vary, drinking just 100 milligrams per day — the amount of a small cup of brewed coffee — and then giving it up can lead to withdrawal symptoms ranging from headaches and depression to flulike nausea and muscle pain, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Caffeine may have some health benefits, but so far research is weak. Some kinds of headaches cause blood vessels to widen; caffeine temporarily causes them to narrow. Coffee may also help reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease.

But coffee — like sugary breakfast foods — can create a cycle of extreme energy swings. The National Institutes of Health also reports that caffeine raises blood pressure and increases feelings of stress, anxiety and road rage. It can leave you feeling wired 12 to 16 hours after the last cup, wreaking havoc on sleep. And it can exacerbate health conditions such as diabetes by making blood sugar rise faster than usual.

  1. To start weaning yourself off the joe, figure out how much caffeine you’re ingesting during the day, including soft drinks and energy drinks; if you can’t track it, it’s too much. Also try the following tips:
  2. Wake up and drink 8 ounces of water. This strategy seems to slow coffee consumption and also works if you have a morning diet or regular soda habit, said Brian Wansink, founder and director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and an expert on psychology and food consumption.
  3. Choose your approach. Some people can go cold turkey; others need to gradually reduce. “There’s no evidence that either approach is superior,” said James Lane, a caffeine researcher and professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center. If you’re a heavycoffee drinker — eight cups a day — gradual withdrawal can help prevent the dreaded headaches and fogginess. If you drink two cups, you may be able to bite the bullet. “Withdrawal symptoms most likely disappear in two or three days,” said Lane.
  4. Taper: To minimize withdrawal symptoms, gradually reduce the amount of caffeine by drinking half regular and half decaffeinated and gradually increasing the amount of decaf, said Ling Wong, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based nutrition and wellness coach. “You can also try tea — black or yerba mate — which has the richness of coffee without that much caffeine,” Wong said. “Rooibos is an herbal tea that has a rich body similar to black tea, without any caffeine. Green tea and white tea are also great choices,” she said.
  5. Try Sanka. After several unsuccessful attempts, Barry Maher said he managed to quit drinking several quarts of coffee a day by substituting “the worst-tasting coffee substitute that ever existed, Sanka. Nothing could have made me develop an aversion to coffee quicker than associating it with a vile brew like that,” said Maher, a professional speaker in Corona, Calif.
  6. Fruit juices might seem like a healthy option to coffee, but it’s better to avoid all sugar-sweetened beverages, whether it’s added or high natural sugar. “The stomach doesn’t feel full so the brain can’t know it, and you keep eating,” said physician and chef John LaPuma. “Because they boost glycemic load, they inflame arteries, disable insulin and clog up the beta-cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. They can also make the liver store fat. Not a pretty picture.” A better alternative? Sparkling water.