Is Coffee a Toxin?
Coffee has been consumed for centuries and is an important part of many individuals’ daily routines. But is it really safe for us to drink? Could it be classified as a toxin?
What is a Toxin?
Generally, a toxin is any substance that is harmful to our bodies. Toxins can be found in food, water and in the air.
Does Coffee Contain Toxins?
The good news is, coffee itself is not a toxin. However, there are some compounds in coffee that could have toxic effects when consumed in large amounts.
Which Compounds Could be Problematic?
- Caffeine: Caffeine is the main compound in coffee. High doses of caffeine can be a stimulant and can be toxic if consumed in excess. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary depending on the type and how it is prepared, but generally a cup of coffee contains between 95-200mg of caffeine. 400mg of caffeine per day is considered a safe amount for adults.
- Acrylamide: Acrylamide is a chemical compound created when carbohydrates are heated at high temperatures. It has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in animals, and there can be small amounts of acrylamide in coffee that has been brewed or roasted at a high temperature.
- Ochratoxin A: A naturally occurring mycotoxin that is hazardous to humans and can be found in some coffees. Fortunately, ochratoxin A levels are generally low and are considered safe for consumption.
The Bottom Line
Coffee itself may not be a toxin, but there are certain compounds found in coffee that have the potential to be toxic if consumed in excess. Therefore, it is important to drink coffee in moderation and to be aware of the different compounds that can be found in coffee.