What are the health effects (positive and negative) of decaffeinated coffee? Is it healthy or unhealthy?

What are the health effects (positive and negative) of decaffeinated coffee? Is it healthy or unhealthy?

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  1. Decaffeinated coffee, or “decaf,” is similar in taste and appearance to regular coffee but contains very little caffeine. There is no evidence to suggest that drinking decaf is bad for a person’s health, and it may even share some of the health benefits of regular coffee. At higher doses, it can cause headache, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue, and has been found to cause liver and lung cancer in animals. In 1999, however, the FDA concluded that the trace amounts you get in decaf coffee are too minuscule to affect your health.

  2. Decaffeination, at the most basic level, extracts both caffeine and a number of other chemicals from the coffee that has a similar level of volatility as caffeine. These processes vary widely: see the Wikipedia article for Decaffeination . Frequently during this process, you will lose some of the positive chemicals from the coffee because they behave similarly to the caffeine when exposed to the decaffeination process (anti -inflamatory chemicals and antioxidents). So theoretically, decaffeinated coffee may be “less healthy” than regular coffee, because of the loss of these healthy chemicals (and small doses of caffeine can help with maintaining health).
    That being said, some of the processes used by certain parts of the caffeine removal industry use chemical solvents that bond with the caffeine to extract it from the coffee. If the process is not well monitored, it might leave residual chemicals on the beans which may or may not have health consequences, depending on what the chemical is. Additionally, the failure to fund effective regulation in the United States and many other countries means that their is always some likelihood that the process being used by the deccafinators is not fully understood or studied for health consequences — and thus may have, as yet unknown, adverse health consequences from the chemicals or from the byproducts of chemical reactions.
    As I understand it, the most common methods for caffeine extraction used at the moment (removal through a flash brewing in water, or using a forced CO2/H2O combination) would not have any health consequences than making an coffee or espresso — because its largely the same chemical interactions.

  3. While there were some questionable practices used in the past to decaffeinate coffee, these days all methods used are considered safe by regulatory authorities.
    See, for the caffeine to be removed from green beans, a solvent needs to be used. Solvents that proved to be both effective and commercially good in the early day but later considered unsafe for humans were
    Benzene, Chloroform
    . These solvents are no longer used to decaffeinate coffee.
    One solvent from the early 1970s that still gets some attention from health advisers but continues to be used anyway is
    or (
    Methylene chloride
    ). Although this solvent is cheap and does its work effectively without removing the desirable sugars, peptides, and flavours –
    Methylene chloride
    (often used as in paint stripping, polyurethane foam manufacturing, cleaning, and degreasing) is known to increase the risk of developing cancer in humans. However, with residues of less than 0.1% in the green coffee bean after the decaffeinated process and the fact that these minute residues are burnt off in the 400 degrees Fahrenheit coffee roasters anyway, it is still considered a safe decaffeinated process by authorities and legislators. According to Shea Sturdivant of the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
    “Any amounts of methylene chloride left in brewed coffee would be less than one part per million”

    Methylene chloride decaffeination: bad process: or bad press? [ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Methylene+chloride+decaffeination%3A+bad+process%3A+or+bad+press%3F-a010456146 ]

    The other three (3) decaffeinated coffee bean methods used today without any bad press or …


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