Archives for March 2015


Can Cancer Be Beaten?

For decades we have been indoctrinated that cancer can be beaten, but only marginal progress has been achieved with respect to effective cancer treatment modalities. So, we have become accustomed to be negative about the answer to the question “can cancer be beaten?” I like to propose that the answer is a resounding “yes”, but what has already been achieved needs to be further refined.

We know for a long time that there are distinct differences between the glycolytic cancer cell metabolism (“Warburg effect”) and the aerobic metabolism of normal cells.

In recent years the introduction of photochemical sensitizers followed by laser activation has made significant inroads regarding cancer treatment successes.

Animal experiments

Using a mouse model Ref.1 reported about the use of several photosensitizers to treat Ehrlich ascites carcinoma. The most effective substance was Hypericin, which is derived from Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John’s wort. It showed the highest intracellular accumulation within the tumor cells, and the survival curves were the best with 25% cures after just one photodynamic treatment and a significant delay of mortality in the remainder of the animals. The control animals lived only 25 days on average, the Hypericin pretreated and photodynamic therapy treated animals lived about 70 days with the cured ones still being tumor free at 120 days.

Experiments like these have taught the medical profession that the type of photosensitive agent (e.g. Hypericin) matters, particularly how well it is taken up by the tumor. The other important factor is the absorption pattern of the agent, as the choice of laser light will determine how good a match there is between the wavelength of the laser and the inherent peak excitation of the agent (absorption spectrum).

Laser treatment of a group of melanoma patients

In Ref. 2 Dr. Weber described a report by Dr. M.A. Kaplan that was presented at the 2008 international laser conference in Helsinki. 76 patients with metastasizing melanomas were treated with Chlorin E6 (a natural photo-sensitizer) and intravenous laser for activation. 45% had reduced pain and improved life quality, in 22% of the cases lymph nodes with metastases either disappeared or became smaller; in 33% the metastases stopped spreading for 6 to 12 months.

Photodynamic therapy of a patient with duodenal cancer and liver metastases 

Dr. Michael Weber who is a specialist for internal medicine and the inventor of the Weber low-dose laser machine has treated cancer patients with photodynamic therapy (PDT) where his laser machine was used. I have described the Weber low-dose laser system before in a previous blog with uses for pain control.

One such cancer case was a female patient with a duodenal cancer (described in Ref.2). She had a primary duodenal tumor removed in 2009 using the Whipple procedure. At that time 4 liver metastases were noted. She saw Dr. Weber in 2010 because of two rapidly emerging liver metastases. A first photodynamic therapy (PDT) was done in May 2010. She felt much better. In June 2010 a second PDT course was given. An MRI scan of the liver in July 2010 no longer showed any metastases. However, in December 2010 metastases reappeared in her liver, which were treated with 3 more sessions of PDT in January of 2011. The metastases were still growing slowly. Dr. Weber decided to do a combination treatment with systemic PDT involving Chlorin E6, a photosensitizer and treating the metastases at the same time with interstitial laser therapy. Red light was used to stimulate the Chlorin E6. Miraculously the liver metastases became necrotic two weeks after this 20-minute treatment. Subsequently a surgical team from the University of Göttingen, Germany did a partial liver resection. At this point she appeared stable and cancer free.

Photodynamic therapy of a group of inoperable prostate cancer patients

20 patients with prostate cancer were treated with PDT between May and September 2014 (Ref.3). 20% of them had a complete remission of their cancers. 35% experienced a partial remission; another 35% had no further tumor progression. In 10% the tumors progressed. These patients were given the following photosensitizers: 80 mg Chlorin E6, 10 mg Hypericin and 150 mg Curcumin intravenously. Three hours after the intravenous photosensitizers had been given photodynamic laser therapy (PDT) was administered through a transparent, permanent catheter that allowed admission of the laser instrument up to the level of the prostate. With this approach the low-dose laser light penetrated the entire prostate gland. Three frequencies were employed that corresponded to the absorption peaks of the three photosensitizers, red light (658 nm) to activate Chlorin E6, yellow light (589 nm) to activate Hypericin and blue light (405 nm) to activate Curcumin.

In addition to PDT patients also received an immunostimulator preparation, called Gc protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF). Finally, in order to take advantage of the minimal differences regarding poor oxygenation of cancer cells versus good oxygenation of normal tissues intravenous oxygen was given with the oxygenation system of the German company Oxyven. This strengthened the normal tissue and weakened the cancer tissue.

The German researcher, Dr. von Ardenne did extensive research about the effects of oxygenation on healthy tissue versus cancer tissue. He postulated for instance that it would be possible to prevent cancer from metastasizing, if a person would exercise regularly while breathing oxygen through a mask. However, at this point this thought is not universally accepted.

When all the effects are taken together, the photodynamic therapy with photosensitizers and specific laser frequencies, the immune therapy and the oxygen therapy, the above successes in treatment outcomes can be explained as a synergistic effect: cancer cells are dying off from the PDT, macrophage activating factor stimulates the immune system and healing can start to occur.

Other end-stage cancer pilot studies

Dr. Weber reports about other pilot studies involving end stage breast cancer and pancreatic cancer (Ref.3).

Two cases of breast cancer with primary lesions measuring 3.5 cm or 5.0 cm were treated with Chlorin E6 and subsequent photodynamic laser therapy using the systemic and interstitial red laser of the Weber system. Within a few days tumor necrosis was visible and within 6 weeks after the PDT no tumor was present anymore in both cases.

Another case was an end stage pancreatic cancer in a 76-year-old man. This cancer was surgically removed in August of 2012. A few months later malignant ascites developed (cancer spread within the abdominal cavity). Chemotherapy with Gemzar had to be abandoned because of severe side effects. At this point PDT was started using Chlorin E6 twice with intraabdominal and intravenous red laser treatment. The patient also received a low-dose chemotherapy treatment with the pro-drug Xeloda, which gets converted into 5-fluoro-uracil (a standard chemotherapeutic agent). Using blue laser activation Xeloda becomes 100-times more powerful in destroying tumor cells. Only 3 months after this treatment the “incurable” pancreas cancer patient had been cured of his tumor and the malignant ascites. Initially the patient also had a secondary severe anemia that had to be treated with several blood transfusions before the PDT was started. Histology samples could no longer demonstrate presence of pancreatic tumor cells and the “intractable” anemia was cured as well.

Can Cancer Be Beaten?

Can Cancer Be Beaten?

Historic studies involving mega vitamin doses on end-stage cancer patients

Ref. 4 describes an experiment by Dr. Hoffer, the father of orthomolecular medicine. This is a branch of medicine that uses large doses of vitamins and minerals to rectify metabolic changes in various diseases. Dr. Hoffer treated 131 advanced cancer patients between 1976 and 1988 with a mixture of mega vitamins and minerals. There was a control group (not taking anything) and the experimental group. The results of this 9-year follow up study are depicted in the image below. The Y-axis represents the % of survival (at the zero point of time 100 % of each group were alive), the X-axis shows the time of survival in years. Note that the group of cancer patients taking meta vitamins is depicted with orange columns, the control group with blue columns. At 7 years of follow-up none of the controls survived. On average there was an 8 year survival advantage of the mega vitamin group versus the control group (control group 28% survival at year 1 of follow-up, mega vitamin group 34% survival at year 9 of follow-up). The supplements consumed were as follows:

Vitamin C, 10,000 to 40,000 mg orally daily; vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide) 300 to 3,000 mg; vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 200 to 300 mg; folic acid 1 to 30 mg; vitamine E succinate 400 to 1,200 IU;  Coenzyme Q10 300 to 600 mg; selenium 200 to 1,000 micrograms daily; zinc 25 to 100 mg; calcium and magnesium supplement (2:1 ratio); mixed carotenoids as carrot juice; multivitamins and minerals.

Ref. 4 (page 347) explains that the Mayo Clinic did a study where they “duplicated” Dr. Hoffer’s study using only high doses of vitamin C, but failed to show any cancer fighting effect. However, they neglected to include all of the other cancer fighting supplements listed above. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, stimulates the immune system, but does not fight cancer by itself.

Dr. Hoffer's End Stage Cancer Experiment

Dr. Hoffer’s End Stage Cancer Experiment (click to enlarge)


Cancer treatments are entering a new phase where with the help of multiple treatment modalities combined (PDT, immunostimulation, oxygen therapy and low-dose laser activated chemotherapy) it is now possible to cure many cancers that were untreatable in the past. The tunnel vision approach of conventional oncology with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy is obsolete for cases where cancer has metastasized. At this point the methods described in this blog are still considered experimental. In Germany they have done phase 1 and phase 2 trials as indicated above. Large phase 3 trials will have to be performed involving various types of cancers through conventional cancer agencies. Intravenous and interstitial photodynamic therapy is replacing the traditional toxic ways to treat cancer.  These new methods are effective with regard to both the primary tumor and metastases with hardly any side-effects.

Please note that Dr. Schilling has no commercial interest in Dr. Weber’s low-dose laser system, the links provided in this blog are merely there because of the newest information about low-dose laser photodynamic cancer therapy. Anybody who needs more information about the equipment or medical personnel wanting to buy the low-dose laser equipment can contact Jonathan Schwartz at this email:


Ref.1: Þ. Lukðienë and P. De Witte: “Hypericin-based Photodynamic Therapy:I. Comparative Antitumor Activity and Uptake Studies in Ehrlich Ascite Tumor” Acta medica Lituanica. 2002. T. 9, Nr. 3, p. 195-199.

Ref.2: Michael Weber, MD: “New options of interstitial and intravenous laser therapy in oncology” The Intern.J. Med. Laser Applic. Vol1, July 2011, p.66

Ref. 3: Michael Weber, MD: ”Intravenous and interstitial photodynamic laser therapy: New options in oncology.” To be published 2015.

Ref. 4: Andrew W. Saul, PhD: “The Orthomolecular Treatment of Chronic disease”, Basic Health Publications Inc., Laguna Beach, CA 92651, 2014.


What Alcohol Does To You

The media has praised alcohol  for preventing heart attacks, but let us examine what alcohol does to you. There are other articles in which we hear about alcoholic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, both of which can be killer diseases. To get some clarification, let us discuss the various facts.

Dr. Finnel points out that 7.9% of all emergency room visits in the US are due to alcohol related conditions (Ref.1). When the causes of deaths that are a consequence to alcohol are listed, the top 8 causes are: cancer of the mouth and pharynx, alcohol abuse disorders, coronary heart disease causing heart attacks, cirrhosis of the liver, traffic accidents, poisonings, falls and intentional injuries. This is not what you read in the news. What you do read about is that one glass of red wine per day would be good for women and up to two glasses of red wine would be good for men to prevent heart attacks and strokes.


It is the bioflavonoids , and among those in particular resveratrol, that are the active ingredients responsible for heart health. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that protects against ischemia-reperfusion injuries. It is responsible for the cardio protective properties of red wine known as the “French paradox” (Ref.2). According to this reference resveratrol contributes to at least 3 processes that stabilize the metabolism.

Toxicity of alcohol

Alcohol toxicity is a complex problem. According to the WHO 5.9% of all deaths worldwide are a consequence  to alcohol. In 2012 the WHO recorded that 7.6% of deaths in males were due to alcohol. In comparison, 4% of female deaths were due to alcohol. Toxicity comes from the breakdown product acetaldehyde, which all cells can convert from alcohol, but liver cells are especially able to do this. According to Ref. 3 alcohol diffuses easily through all of the cell membranes and reaches every organ in the body. The toxicity of acetaldehyde is the reason  for shutting down the mitochondria which affect the energy metabolism and causing cell death. The immune system reacts with inflammation, when it attempts to repair the damage.

So, what are the major problems what alcohol does to you? These are the processes: First fat accumulation (steatosis), next chronic inflammation followed by necrosis (dying of cells) and fibrosis. An example of fibrosis is liver cirrhosis, where non-functioning connective tissue replaces liver cells.

Different tissue sensitivity to alcohol

Certain tissues are more susceptible to alcohol toxicity than others. As the concentration of alcohol is highest in tissues that are in direct contact with alcoholic drinks, cancers related to alcohol consumption develop in the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and in the colon and rectum. The pancreas is particularly vulnerable to inflammation and fibrotic changes with subsequent degeneration into cancer of the pancreas. The heart tissue and the arteries are very sensitive to alcohol; hypertension, heart attacks, stroke, cardiomyopathy and myocarditis as well as irregular heart beats (arrhythmias) can develop. The brain is very sensitive to toxic effects of alcohol as well. This causes major depression, personality changes with violent behavior, car accidents and injuries.

Other toxic effects of alcohol on organs

Kidney disease (alcoholic nephropathy) is another alcohol caused illness. 5% of breast cancers in northern Europe and North America are directly related to the toxic effects of alcohol (Ref.3). Finally, the liver being so active in detoxifying alcohol is affected by developing liver cirrhosis, which accounts for a lot of premature deaths at a relatively young age (typically in the mid to late 50’s).

Ref. 3 goes on to say that literature exists which claims that 1 to 2 drinks per day would be useful for prevention of heart disease. But the observation of the authors is that people will not discipline themselves to stick to these limits and very quickly enter into the zone of alcohol toxicity. The authors further noted that with regard to causing any kind of cancer there is no safe lower limit; the risk is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed and the risk starts right above the zero point.

The pathologist has the last word

When I studied medicine at the University of Tübingen, Germany I attended lectures in the pathology department where Professor A. Bohle, M.D. demonstrated pathology findings of deceased patients. Dr. Bohle had a special interest in Mallory bodies. These are alcohol inclusion cysts within liver cells that can be stained with a bright red dye.

Histological documentation of toxic effects in livers of corpses

I will never forget when Prof. Bohle pointed out that the livers of this most diverse population whose bodies we had the privilege as medical students to study had a rate of 25% positive Mallory bodies. He wanted to impress on us as medical students to watch out for the alcoholics that are usually missed in general practice. Obviously 25% of the pathology population was affected by the consumption of alcohol. It was Prof. Bohle’s hope that we could perhaps interfere on the primary care level before things went out of control. Many of these corpses belonged to traffic accidents that could have been prevented (now seat belts and alcohol limits are standard, in 1968 they were not).

Alcohol as an aging substance

Consistent use of alcohol on a regular basis will slow down cell metabolism and hormone production significantly. The major effect of alcohol leads to poisoning of the mitochondria in multiple organs, which translates into faster aging and a shortened life expectancy. This in turn results in a change of appearance. An older person who has abused alcohol for a number of years may look 5 to 10 years older than their chronological age.

50% of people above the age of 65 drink daily (Ref.4). Some more statistics: alcohol abuse in elderly men is 4-times higher than in elderly women. 5% to 10% of all dementia cases are related to alcohol abuse. About 15% of older adults are experiencing health risks from abusing alcohol. And about 90% of older adults are using medications and close to 100% of medications can adversely interact with alcohol (Ref.4).

Social pressure

These are the scientific facts , and then there is social pressure when you are invited to a party.

When you are young and invincible, do you care what the science says? You want to have a “good time” and not worry about consequences. The data about long-term exposure and a slowly increasing cancer risk is there. The wine industry will remind you that 1 drink for women and two drinks for men will protect you from heart attacks. They will withhold the cancer information from you, as they don’t really want to hear about that (yes, it’s bad for their business!).

Resisting social pressure and doing what is good for you

Can you have a good time at a party without drinking alcohol? Yes, you can. You can talk and you can listen; you are probably more with it than those who had too much to drink. I like mineral water and hold on to a glass of that.

I explained in a blog before how I was convinced by three speakers at an A4M conference to join those who abstain from alcohol.

Socializing without alcohol is doable. You may at times miss it, but you can warm up even to a crowd that had a few drinks too much. It is about choice: we can choose what we want out of life.

What Alcohol Does To You

What Alcohol Does To You


I have attempted to show you the toxic effects of alcohol. Although alcohol has played an important role in the social lives of millions over the centuries, it is becoming more apparent that alcohol is a cell poison and shortens our lives. The beneficial effect of the 1 or 2 drinks marketed by the beer and wine industry and some cardiologists does nothing to counter the threat in terms of a whole array of cancers at much smaller amounts of alcohol. Fortunately, resveratrol and omega-3 fatty acids as supplements as well as exercise will more than make up for the 1 or 2 drinks that you do not really need. And neither exercise, omega-3 fatty acids, or resveratrol are cell poisons. The choice is yours!


Ref. 1: John T. Finnell: “: Alcohol-Related Disease“ Rosen’s Emergency Medicine, Chapter 185, 2378-2394. Saunders 2014.

Ref. 2: “Hurst’s The Heart”, 13th edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2011. Chapter 54. Coronary Blood Flow and Myocardial Ischemia.

Ref. 3: Ivan Rusyn and Ramon Bataller: “Alcohol and toxicity”, 2013-08-01Z, Volume 59, Issue 2, Pages 387-388; copyright 2013 European Association for the Study of the Liver.

Ref. 4: Tom J. Wachtel and Marsha D. Fretwell: Practical Guide to the Care of the Geriatric Patient, Third Edition, Copyright 2007 by Mosby.


Frail Mitochondrial DNA Equals Frail People

New research on mitochondria has shown that “frail mitochondrial DNA equals frail people”. More specifically, researchers from the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD found that mitochondrial DNA content varies according to age (less mitochondrial DNA in older age), sex (yes, women have more than men) and mitochondrial DNA even has an inverse relationship to frailty and a direct relationship to life expectancy. This paper was published in February of 2015.

Mitochondria are the powerhouses within each cell and there are between 10 and several thousand mitochondria per cell, depending on what the power needs of a cell type are.

Each mitochondrion has its own mitochondrial DNA contained in 2 to 10 small circular chromosomes that regulate the 37 genes necessary for normal mitochondrial function.

In order to track mitochondrial DNA and its relationship to frailty and old age, the Johns Hopkins University researchers accessed data from two large clinical trials. One study was the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), which took place between 1989 and 2006. The other one was the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study spanning from 1987 to 2013. Blood tests were available on participants from both studies that allowed determinations of mitochondrial DNA.

In multi ethnic groups it was apparent that mitochondrial DNA content was dictated by the age of a person.

Frailty was defined as a person who had aging symptoms including weakness, a lack of energy compared to the past, activity levels that were much lower than before and loss of weight. When persons with frailty as defined by these criteria were identified in the two studies, they were found to have 9% less mitochondrial DNA than nonfrail study participants.

Another subgroup were white participants; when their bottom mitochondrial DNA content was compared to the top mitochondrial DNA content, the researchers found that frailty was 31% more common in the bottom DNA content group. This means that white people are more prone to frailty and they should take steps early on to prevent this.

Mortality data were also examined and it turned out that those study participants who had the highest level of mitochondrial DNA lived 2.1 years longer on average than those with the lowest level of mitochondrial DNA.

The study also found that women in the two clinical trials had 21% more DNA in their mitochondria on average than men.

Prevention of DNA loss from mitochondria

The study did not suggest any preventative steps against mitochondrial DNA loss. But there is ample evidence in the literature that this can be achieved through supplements that can both help multiply mitochondria as well as stimulate the metabolism of mitochondria. Lifestyle changes are also effective.

I am not supporting the specific brands of supplements mentioned in the Dr. Whitaker link, but find the common sense explanations useful, as they explain what the supplements do.

Frail Mitochondrial DNA Equals Frail People

Frail Mitochondrial DNA Equals Frail People

You may find the scientific data too tedious to delve into, but let this list be of help for you to preserve your health and your vitality:

  1. Mitochondrial aging is slowed down by ubiquinol (=Co-Q-10, I take 400 mg per day). Co-Q-10 repairs DNA damage to your mitochondria.
  2. Another supplement, 20 mg of PQQ (=Pyrroloquinoline quinone) per day stimulates your healthy mitochondria to multiply. Between the two supplements you will have more energy as optimal mitochondrial function is ensured.
  3. There are simple lifestyle changes you can make: eat less calories as this will stimulate SIRT1 genes, which in turn stimulates your cell metabolism including the mitochondria.
  4. Resveratrol, the supplement from red grape skin can also stimulate your mitochondria metabolism. Exercise more and regularly as this will also stimulate your mitochondria to multiply similar to the effects of PQQ. I take 500mg of trans-Resveratrol once daily.
  5. Alpha-lipoic acid is an anti-oxidant that counters the slow-down of mitochondrial metabolism. I recommend 300mg per day.
  6. L-arginine is an amino acid that is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO). I prefer taking NO as the NEO-40 supplement where nitric oxide is directly released into your system. I take 1 lozenge of Neo-40 twice per day.

There are many write-ups about mitochondrial supplements. Here is an article that I found some time ago in the life Extension Magazine.

Frail Mitochondrial DNA Equals Frail People

Mitochondrial DNA

Caution is needed to discern between salesmanship and science regarding mitochondrial support, but this blog should start you off in the right direction.


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Drink Your Coffee, But…

I have blogged about coffee drinking several times in the past. Coffee consumption and health benefits have become a news item again because of yet another study. The recent media reports are based on a South Korean study that involved 25,138 men and women with a mean age of 41.3 years.

Here I like to concentrate on aspects regarding coffee consumption that are often lost in the media when studies regarding coffee consumption are discussed. I will break it down into points and then conclude at the end with my recommendations.

1. Calcification of coronary arteries and osteoporosis

The South Korean study published online on March 2, 2015 showed that with up to 4 cups of coffee there was a direct linear relationship between consumption of coffee and prevention of heart attacks. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) deposits were measured by a CAT scan as they are known to be a good measure for a future risk of heart attacks. Less than 1 cup of coffee per day resulted in a 23% reduction of CAC in the coronary arteries compared to controls without coffee consumption. 1 to 2 cups of coffee reduced CAC’s (meaning the risk of heart attack rates) by 34%, while 3 to 4 cups prevented CAC’s and thus heart attacks by 41%. The fun stops at 5 cups of coffee per day as only 19% of CAC’s (heart attacks) were saved. Clearly there is something in coffee that shows detrimental effects, if the dosage is too high.

In the past there was a question as to whether coffee consumption would lead to osteoporosis in women. However, a study showed that there was no correlation between coffee consumption and osteoporosis.

Other studies have clarified this and found that vitamin D3 and K2 are important to remove calcium from the arterial wall and transport calcium into the bone and deposit it there. Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 seem to override all the other nutrients when it comes to osteoporosis prevention. The other factor in older women is hormone deficiency as they age necessitating bioidentical hormone replacement in addition to vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 to prevent osteoporosis.

2. Whether or not you put sugar into your coffee

is an important question. This is routinely done in Germany where I grew up. The addition of sugar changes the entire game plan, as it is sugar that oxidizes LDL cholesterol, which is directly deposited under the arterial walls. This is the root cause of hardening of the arteries. Coffee alone is beneficial; coffee with sugar is not. I use a tiny amount of KAL Stevia (which does not have the bitter aftertaste) instead of sugar to sweeten my coffee. This sweetens it to the equivalent taste of sugar, but without the detrimental oxidizing effect of sugar. Somebody like me who was conditioned to eat sugar from childhood on in Germany has been left with a “sweet tooth”; so I need to have this tiny bit of stevia as a crutch. Purists may disagree with me. Keep in mind that the Korean study was done without sugar.

3. What’s the difference between real and decaffeinated coffee?

The recent study showed that you need to drink the real thing (caffeinated coffee), if you want to reduce your risk to get the dreaded pigmented skin cancer, melanoma. Decaffeinated coffee did not have this melanoma protective effect. This points to the fact that there are several substances in real coffee and decaffeinated coffee that have different effects. Ref. 2 shows that there was a clear reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people who drank either coffee, decaffeinated coffee or tea. Unfortunately many studies do not distinguish clearly between caffeinated coffee and decaf coffee.

4. Micronutrient components of coffee

As this link shows there are many micronutrient components in coffee such as caffeine, diterpenes, chlorogenic acids, and melanoidins. There is about 100 mg of caffeine contained in a tall (240 ml) Starbucks cup of coffee. This will stimulate the nervous system and your adrenal glands getting that energy rush.

Diterpenes consisting mainly of cafestol and kahweol are substances that have been found to increase the LDL cholesterol. The fact that we are dealing with a concoction of mostly beneficial, but also some less beneficial micronutrients in coffee is responsible for the lower beneficial effect of 5 cups of coffee mentioned in the South Korean study. Filtered coffee seems to largely remove these undesirable substances.

This link explains more details about the micronutrients in coffee.

5. Clinical conditions that are partially prevented by coffee consumption

The last link mentioned a study where a large group of people were followed and monitored for Parkinson’s disease. Those who had consumed only 1 cup of coffee per day were compared to controls without coffee consumption. This one cup of coffee per day prevented Parkinson’s disease by 40 to 60%. Similarly, in a study that investigated prevention of type 2 diabetes 4 to 6 cups of coffee per day prevented 28% of type 2 diabetes. In postmenopausal women decaf coffee was also significantly effective in reducing the risk to develop diabetes.

The Linus Pauling Institute link summarized that there were several studies that showed that colorectal cancer could be partially prevented by consuming real coffee (4 or more cups), which lowered the risk by 24% compared to non-coffee drinkers. Another study noticed that 1 to 2 cups per day of decaf coffee reduced the risk for colorectal cancer by 48%.

Cirrhosis of the liver, often due to excessive alcohol use can be prevented by 40% when at least 2 cups of coffee were consumed. More astounding than that is that the risk of death from liver cancer can be reduced by 50% when at least 1 cup of coffee was consumed compared to those who never consumed coffee.

However, liver and colon cancer are not the only ones that can be prevented to a large extent by drinking coffee. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, oral cancer, brain cancer and lung cancer can also be significantly prevented by a regular cup of coffee. As there is a risk of increasing miscarriages in pregnant women, it is best not to consume coffee during pregnancy or at the most limit it to one cup per day. Also, nursing mothers should avoid coffee (even decaffeinated coffee) as caffeine gets transmitted into mother’s milk.

People with high blood pressure may be better off to not drink coffee or to drink decaf coffee, because caffeine has been shown to elevate blood pressure substantially.

6. What are the risks of drinking coffee?

Seeing that coffee is an effective drug-like compound with many benefits, it is worthwhile asking the question: what are the side effects of coffee consumption? There are people who are very sensitive to caffeine. They get over stimulated and experience heart palpitations, a lack of sleep and anxiety. They should refrain from coffee. They may even be over sensitive to decaffeinated coffee that still contains about 3% of caffeine. People with rheumatoid arthritis have been shown to deteriorate with coffee consumption, making this another subgroup of people who should stay away from coffee.

7. What is the process of decaffeinating coffee?

Essentially there are 4 processes of decaffeination that have been developed over time. As this link shows, all of the decaffeination processes are done with the green coffee beans. There are two solvent-based processes and two non-solvent based processes. The latter two are the healthiest: the Swiss water process and the carbon dioxide process. The problems with the older solvent-based processes are the chemicals used to extract the caffeine. They can be harmful to the body.

Organic decaffeinated coffees are manufactured with the environment-friendly Swiss water process.

Drink Your Coffee, But…

Drink Your Coffee, But…


There are some people who simply are too sensitive to caffeine. They should refrain from drinking coffee. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should either severely reduce coffee consumption to one cup per day or refrain from coffee altogether. Those with high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis patients better refrain from drinking coffee as well. The majority of us will benefit from coffee consumption, if this is your taste. You may prefer green tea or Oolong tea instead. As I explained above there is compelling evidence in the literature that many cancers, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes can be partially prevented by regular coffee consumption. Decaffeinated coffee can prevent type 2 diabetes to some extent and colorectal cancer as well. The majority of evidence shows that coffee drinking is healthy. So, go ahead and enjoy!


Ref. 1: Ding, Ming; Bhupathiraju, Shilpa N; Satija, Ambika; van Dam, Rob M; Hu, Frank B. “Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Circulation – February 11, 2014; 129 (6); 643-59.

Ref. 2: Huxley R, Lee CM, Barzi F, Timmermeister L, Czernichow S, Perkovic V, Grobbee DE, Batty D, Woodward M. “Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis.” Arch. Intern. Med. – December 14, 2009; 169 (22); 2053-63