Caffeine is not just ANY food additive. It’s has been called a pharmaceutical agent, a drug, and it leads to physical dependence in people who use it regularly
How Safe Is Your Decaffeinated Coffee?
Link to Heart Disease:
An U.S. National Institutes of Health study suggested that drinking decaffeinated coffee could increase your risk of heart disease. Research indicated that it could lead to a rise in harmful cholesterol levels. The U.S. study looked at 187 people, a third of whom drank three to six cups of caffeinated coffee a day, while a second group drank the same amount of decaffeinated coffee, and the rest had no coffee. Researchers measured the level of caffeine in people’s blood, as well as a number of heart-health indicators, including blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels over the course of the three-month study.
At the end of the study, the group drinking decaffeinated coffee had experienced an 18% rise in their fatty acids in the blood, which can drive the production of bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol. Fatty acids did not change in the other groups. Having a high level of LDL cholesterol is one of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes. In addition, a protein linked to bad cholesterol (apolipoprotein B) went up 8% in the decaffeinated group but did not significantly change in the other two groups.
The research results were presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association. Dr Robert Superko of the Fuqua Heart Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, who led the research, said: “Contrary to what people have thought for many years, I believe it’s not caffeinated but decaffeinated coffee that might promote heart disease risk factors.” But he added: “If you only drink one cup each day, the results of our study probably have little relevance because at that level your daily coffee dose is relatively low.”
Link to Cancer & Organ Damage:
Methylene Chloride: The decaffeinated coffee you drink is likely to contain the solvent methylene chloride that is used to remove caffeine from coffee. This process leaves small amounts of this chemical in the beans. Methylene chloride is a proven carcinogenic that is toxic to lungs, the nervous system, liver, mucous membranes, Central Nervous System (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.
Ethyl acetate is an alternate solvent used to extract caffeine. This solvent is commonly used to dissolve the pigments for nail varnishes, and is responsible for the solvent-effect of some nail varnish remover (acetone and acetonitrile are also used). In the field of entomology, ethyl acetate is an effective poison for use in insect collecting and study. In a killing jar charged with ethyl acetate, the vapors will kill the collected insect quickly without destroying it. As this chemical is in low quantities found naturally in fruit, companies often market coffee decaffeinated using this process as “naturally decaffeinated.” However, this is a chemical with serious health consequences.
Those who wish to avoid caffeinated beverages for health reasons, yet don’t want to be exposed to methylene chloride and other chemicals, there are other options:
Decaffeinated coffees where the caffeine has been removed during a steam process. The process is similar to the “indirect” method used in methylene chloride processing, but no chemicals are used. After the caffeine is leached out of the material by soaking in hot water for a period of time, the solution is then passed through a carbon filter for caffeine removal. The water is then returned to the beans for reabsorption of flavors and oils. In the “Swiss Water Process,” the same method is used, but instead of soaking in water, the beans are soaked in a coffee-flavored solution. This results in the caffeine being extracted without removing the coffee flavors.
You can also check with the producer of your favorite decaf to see what process they are using.
Herbal coffee substitutes are also available at health food stores.
Check at your local health food store for options.