The question is not really whether decaffeinated coffee is good for
you, but is it bad for you! I would not classify any kind of coffee as
being good for you, at least not in the way that protein, fruit, and
vegetables are good for you. You can certainly get along well without
partaking of the bean!
Decaf coffee is **better** than coffee with caffeine in it for most
folks, as caffeine causes ?jitters? in many people, can cause
digestive tract problems, and can play havoc with sleep patterns in
However, a few years ago, there were some concerns that chemicals,
specifically metheylene chloride, used in the decaffeination process
were harmful to our health, but according to this Berkeley Wellness
site ?Over the years there have been worries about decaf processed
with methylene chloride because studies had found that this chemical
caused cancer when inhaled by lab animals (which is why it was banned
in hair sprays). But there was no carcinogenic effect when the animals
drank the chemical. In any case, the residue in decaf is virtually
nil, and there?s no evidence of any danger for humans drinking decaf.
The FDA has approved the compound for use in decaffeination. Many
companies, including Starbucks (except for its decaf mocha java), use
methylene chloride because consumers tend to prefer the taste compared
to, say, water-filtered decaf, which usually tastes blander.?
I can remember hearing of several studies in the news, over the years,
flip-flopping the idea that coffee (the kind WITH caffeine) was
harmful. One study would say it raised cholesterol, another said it
was harmless, yet another linked coffee with heart disease. It seemed
no one really knew for sure, and I?m not convinced anyone knows for
sure today, either!
Currently, per Berkeley, coffee is on the ?Do drink? list. ?Caffeine
actually has potential benefits. Besides boosting alertness, it has an
analgesic effect, which is why it is added to some pain relievers.
Several studies also suggest it helps prevent Parkinson?s disease. A
Finnish study in the New England Journal of Medicine in March found
that coffee may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. And there?s
preliminary evidence suggesting it may help against gallstones and
Caffeinated coffee is believed to have a link to fibrocystic breast,
but the villain is not caffeine, it is theophylline and theobromine
(also found in chocolate, and theoophylline is used as an asthma
medication) Theophylline and theobromine are also found in decaf
Now, addressing the acidity of coffee: both varieties of coffee, with
and without caffeine, still contain plenty of acid, and can cause
heartburn and ulcers, along with stomach and esophageal irritation.
One brand of instant coffee, Kava, is acid-reduced, and is less
irritating to people who are prone to heartburn. Kava is NOT
According to Rheumatology.org, ?Drinking decaffeinated coffee may
increase your risk developing rheumatoid arthritis if you're an older
woman, according to research presented at the American College of
Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting Nov. 10 - 15 in San Francisco,
This "I Need Coffee" page has links to several good articles about coffee.
It appears that drinking decaf coffee will not do you any harm, unless
you are adding a tremendous amount of cream and sugar, and drinking to
excess. In that case, the harm would come from the sugar and fat
content of the cream, and not the coffee itself. You can still buy
decaf coffee that does not use solvents in the decaffeination process,
if that might be a concern for you. If you are an older woman, you may
want to think about finding a substitute brew.
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Decaf coffee health