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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 6:01pm
Subject: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

The following lengthy post contains solely my opinions regarding the Bulletproof Coffee advertisement on the internet.  My aim is to use the advertisement as a point of departure with which to introduce research that has been performed with many goals that all relate to the presence of naturally occurring toxins in coffee and their supposed effect upon human health.  References have been cited to support my opinions, not to disparage or demean in any way the authors or owners of the bulletproof site.  My opinions deal solely with the advertisement.  I have not brewed or analyzed Upgraded Coffee and I offer no advice or opinion concerning the quality of this product.  I neither encourage nor discourage readers from buying it.

There has been a mild amount of interest in “Upgraded Coffee” on Coffeegeek and a wider field of interest online since ‘The Bulletproof Executive’ started selling coffee with strong health claims.    For those of you who are not familiar or only passingly familiar with this product and these hearth claims, this post is created to express my reaction to the claims of the product with respect to the scholarly publications of food health researchers.

Unbiased Reporting, four pitfalls: There is no such thing as unbiased reporting.  
  1. This author admits to being biased against profiting upon loosely interpreted health-benefits, biased against the misuse of research data and biased against poorly conducted research protocols.
  2. In my opinion, Dave Asprey promotes himself as a health guru who seems to me to be the main investor in ‘Better Baby, LLC.’, which seems to own the copyrights to ‘Upgraded Coffee’, ‘Upgradeself.com’ and ‘Bulletproof Coffee’.  To be clear, ‘Upgraded Coffee’ is a product you can buy while ‘Bulletproof Coffee’ is a daily regimen, a recipe that you can choose to make.  Mr. Asprey seems to be involved in several other self-improvement ventures not related to coffee.
  3. Also in my opinion, while refereed professional journals are the best tool for the dissemination of scientific progress currently available, they are also fraught with bias.  The scientific authors have a point or thesis that they wish to prove and have it accepted by the larger scientific community.  The editors wish to publish cutting-edge research that is most relevant; they do not want their journal to be irrelevant.  The board of peer reviewers, the ‘referees’, often have biases based upon their own work or institutional affiliations.  This author has submitted articles to refereed journals and has reviewed articles submitted by others for such journals.
  4. Finally, each reader of this post holds a bias regarding trust.  Do you accept that there will always be bacteria and fungi hitchhiking in the food supply or do you think that zero tolerance for any or all adulterants is the only rational choice?  Keep in mind the the European Union, for instance, has set limits for the presence of ochratoxin in roasted and instant coffee but not in green-coffee.  In the US, the FDA has not imposed any such limits as of 2013(a).

Background on mycotoxins
Fungi and bacteria are opportunistic decomposer species that have been waging war with one another for millions of years.  Since they both primarily live on dead organic material (exceptions exist), many members of each phylum have evolved a way to poison the other, thereby limiting the influence of the other.  Thus, we use bacterial products to retard the growth of mold while antibiotics elaborated by fungi have radically changed our civilization, as in penicillin.  It is no secret that a few of the many biological secretions from both groups are toxic to us.   This discussion will be limited to the toxins that are most germane to coffee drinkers, aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A.  
This poster is aware that most Coffegeek readers know that we live in a biological sea whereby our mouths, our guts and our skin are colonized by hundreds of species of fungus and bacteria.  For the few who do not know this, ‘colonize’ means occupy peacefully, not invade.  What is also true is that our food is also covered with bacterial and fungal organisms, sometimes on purpose.  Aspergillus is the mold most prevalent on our grains, seeds, nuts, beans, coffee, grapes and many other agricultural products.  There are hundreds of species of Aspergillus.  Most produce no detectable toxins.  From the research, there are perhaps slightly more than a dozen species of Aspergillium and Penicillium that are commonly involved in the production of significant mycotoxins.  Are there such things as insignificant mycotoxins?  Yes, in my opinion, having read much of the literature.  No, if you propose a zero-risk food supply.
Aflatoxin B1 is not an insignificant  mycotoxin.  
Health science students have been taught for decades that aflatoxin is the most potent carcinogen (cancer-producing agent) in existence.  Within the differences of how this potency is determined among different carcinogens, it still seems to be.  Determinations regarding the occurrence, properties or potency of aflatoxin have appeared in over 10,000 scientific publications; it is the most intensively studied toxin.  Regarding ochratoxin A, most scholarly papers will close with the admission that more research needs to be done.  Far fewer studies have been published for ochrtoxin but many researchers are catching up at present.  Ochratoxin A has been implicated in kidney toxicity, immune suppression, cancer and birth defects in animals(b).   Studies in Europe have detected small amounts of ochratoxin A in the blood of all of their human subject volunteers (c).  The importance for us is that ochratoxin A is the compound found more frequently on coffee beans, although aflatoxin B1 is also found.  Aside from their cancer causing properties in animals, both toxins have been implicated in the appearance of other acute and chronic conditions affecting many different organ systems.  Specific lung, nervous and kidney diseases have been attributed to mycotoxins.  However, mycotoxin injury may be difficult to prove in multiple-cause syndromes such as depression and immune system dysfunction.

It is possible that every coffee bean has a few fungal colonies on it.  The variables are: is the fungal population too small to detect?   If detected, it is there in significant numbers?   If fungi are present, are mycotoxins present?  If mycotoxins are present, are they below threshold limits for public safety?  Finally, do you believe that there are reasonable amounts of mycotoxins that may be ingested without harm?

The most important question in the preceding paragraph to some readers may be the last one, but to me it is the middle one: the distinction between the presence of fungi and the presence of toxin.  One must not be confused with the other - but in the popular press (blogs), they are.  Let us see how the background principles appear in the advertisement for Upgraded Coffee.

The Claims
The information here ascribed to the sellers of Upgraded Coffee and Bulletproof Coffee is copied from the pertinent sections of the routinely publicly-accessible web page www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/.  Most footnotes belonging to bulletproofexec.com (numbers) are not reproduced in this post, a few are, but they may be accessed from their website, with the exception of the expired links.  My footnotes are given by (letters).

First, Bulletproof Coffee is a recipe made by adding high-quality butter and medium chain triglyceride oil to brewed Upgraded Coffee.  Your own opinions and experience regarding dietary supplements and coffee and the roles that they play in your life will determine your interest or disinterest in this recipe.

Next, Upgraded Coffee is a roast sold with the following claims.  Please be aware that this advertiser uses the practice of making a supported claim, then following it immediately with an unsupported opinion that is not reflected in the supporting literature that was cited.
They claim:
• 52-91.7% of green coffee beans are contaminated with mycotoxins.(1)  50% of brewed coffee beans are moldy.(2)
The first paper cited actually states that 91.7% of all samples were contaminated with molds, not with mycotoxins.  Thirty three percent of the 60 samples collected demonstrated the measurable presence of mycotoxins.  The paper gave no details on from how widely the 60 samples were collected(d).  One Brazilian plantation?  Sixty Brazialian plantations?  One bag?  Sixty bags?
The second paper cited actually determined that 50% of 25 samples measured positive for ochratoxin A, not mold.  Furthermore, the paper's authors state:  “Five samples … originated from spoiled coffee lots which were expected to contain high amounts of OA [ochratoxin A] and would not have been marketed”(e).
• Caffeine protects coffee beans from mold.  Decaf coffee is higher in ochratoxin (3) and aflatoxin. (4)
Multiple studies have confirmed this as accurate.
• Mycotoxins cause cardiomyopathy (5), cancer (6), brain damage (7) and hypertension and kidney disease. (8)  They also make your coffee taste bitter.  You want to avoid mycotoxins as much as possible.
Multiple animal studies have implicated mycotoxins in all of the diseases mentioned.  Researchers then infer that mycotoxins can cause similar diseases in humans, but this remains difficult to prove.  Concerning the taste, how would they know?  It would be unethical to subject tasting panels such as the National Food Laboratory or even random volunteers to known contaminated coffee.  In my opinion, this statement capitalizes upon the dissatisfaction many coffee drinkers have expressed regarding the quality of their home brew.  Given the many factors responsible for bitterness in coffee, it would seem indefensible to relate the taste back to a moldy sack of green coffee beans.  The last sentence [You want to avoid mycotoxins as much as possible.] is opinion, but who would disagree?
• 10-60% of ochratoxin is not destroyed by roasting. (9)
This reference link appears to have expired .  The heat destruction, specifically for coffee roasting, of both aflatoxin and ochratoxin has been the subject of quite a few scientific papers.  Given the great variability in roasting  techniques, it is no surprise that reports of  the destruction of mycotoxins with roasting varies greatly from a 10% decrease to a complete destruction of all mycotoxins reported among many publications, only three of which I will cite here(f,g,h).  Perhaps highly significant to the discussion regarding the destruction of mycotoxins by roasting is the global perspective offered by the abstract of the following reference:
”This report reviews studies concerning the susceptibility of green coffee beans to mycotoxin contamination. Included are investigations on normal mold flora, toxin production in inoculated beans, effect of experimental roasting on aflatoxin, ochratoxin, and sterigmatocystin, and survey on the presence of these toxins in commercial green coffee. Because of the extremely low frequency of findings, the low levels of toxins, and the experimental data showing 70--80% destruction by the roasting process of toxin added to green coffee, further study on this topic has been discontinued”(i).

• Another study found 4-31% of ochratoxin remains after roasting. (10) This is why it’s crucial to avoid mycotoxins during every step of the production process, not just after the beans are roasted.
See above.  Cited statement followed by statement of opinion.
• Coffee that is not processed soon after harvest gets more mold than quickly processed coffee. (11)
This is true(j).
• Coffee develops more mold when it is left to sit, which is how most large scale coffee manufacturers produce their coffee. (12)
“Hence, speedy processing is highly desirable in order to obtain maximum quality”, according to  Sivetz and Desrosier (k).  Some fermentation, at least 6 hrs. worth, seems necessary in order to dissolve the coffee mucilage layer; see below.
• Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants for Americans. (13)  Unfortunately, it is also one of the largest sources of mycotoxins. Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coffee allows you to reap the benefits of coffee while avoiding the side effects.
Citation refers to an informal statement made by a researcher at the 2005 meeting of the American Chemical Society.  The author has over 40 publications on antioxidants and therefore does seem to be a credible source.  Supported statement is followed by unsupported opinion.
• Roasted coffee beans have a higher antioxidant content (14) which is why we use a special roasting process for Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coffee Beans.
Higher than what?  Green coffee?  In fact, this interpretation is exactly the opposite of what was proven by the cited research.  To quote the abstract from their reference #14:  “Data from this study suggested that natural phenolics present in NRC [non-roasted coffee beans] had higher antioxidant activity compared to MRPs (Maillard reaction products) derived from coffee and model MR (Maillard reaction ) systems.  However, MRPs were the prevailing antioxidants in RC (roasted coffee) as free CGA (one of the natural phenolics) was lost (>90%)”(Italics mine)(l).
• Moderate doses of caffeine improve mental performance. (15)
• Caffeine influences gene expression in a way that protects your brain. (16)
• The caffeine coffee is a powerful antioxidant that can even protect against Alzheimer’s. (17)
• Caffeine is an ergogenic aid, meaning it increases power output.  This is true for both aerobic (18) and anaerobic exercise. (19)
• Coffee consumption is associated with higher adiponectin levels in Japanese males.(20)  High adiponectin levels are associated with increased metabolic health.
These are all promotions for the benefits of caffeine, which is beyond the intent of this post and not unique to Upgraded Coffee.  Parenthetically, I have a very dim opinion of anyone making a claim that caffeine protects humans from Alzheimer’s disease.  Their reference #17 is a popular press website that quotes an article in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.  Along the way, the phrase ‘may help protect’, quoted second-hand, has been turned into ‘can even protect’ in the above extract from the bulletproofexec.com website.

To continue, Upgraded Coffee enumerates the following steps in its coffee production:

  1. It is carefully produced and tested with new and old methods to target the lowest toxin content vs. normal coffee, so you get all the benefits of coffee without the negative health effects.
  2. The beans are harvested from a single family-owned estate in Guatemala located 1250 meters above sea level, high enough to produce great coffee.
  3. The estate is Passive Organic and the family that owns it does not allow chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, etc.) It is not economical for Central American boutique coffee estates to become certified organic.
  4. They are hand picked by experienced coffee harvesters – skilled people who know how to pick only perfectly ripe berries.
  5. Most coffee beans are processed by either leaving them in the sun and elements to wither and dry, or by pressing them and letting them ferment (spoil) to remove the outer layer of the bean.  Both of these techniques are known to produce significant levels of mycotoxins as they enhance flavor. Upgraded™ Coffee beans are mechanically processed right after picking using only clean cold water.  This more expensive process is safer because it dramatically reduces harmful molds or bacteria from impacting your health.
  6. The beans are roasted in small batches by the #1 ranked roaster in United States under the strictest conditions.  Roasting the beans enhances their antioxidant capacity and flavor to provide you with a healthier, tastier cup of coffee.

Upgraded Coffee is manufactured using parameters that are trademarked and therefore proprietary.  This means that they do not have to describe how their manufacturing is different, just that it is different enough to allow them to trademark it.  Whether the difference is significant or not to quality does not matter to the process of trademark application unless such application is challenged.
Steps 1 through 5 do not impress me as being different from the procedures than any buyer, purveyor or roaster of quality single origin or varietal blend washed coffee now uses.  Readers who are professionally involved in the coffee trade are welcome to correct or confirm my assumption in this regard.
Regarding step #5, quality plantations process the coffee cherries quickly, according to Sivetz and Desrosier in the source cited.  Coffee production is divided into natural and washed coffee.  More than half of the world’s coffee is natural coffee, hence the first sentence in step #5 is correct (m,n).  Coffee cherries consist of the central seed or bean with a thick, slimy mucilage coating, all enclosed by a layer of pulpy flesh, surrounded by skin.  Washed coffee uses a combination of mechanical scrubbing and washing with water because water alone cannot disperse the stubborn mucilage coating.  “The mucilage is insoluble in water. … It clings to the coffee too tenaciously to be dispersed and removed by simple washing” (o).  Nor can unlimited force be brought to bear on the mucilage because quality coffee demands that the underlying parchment or ‘silver skin’ enclosing the coffee bean be left intact until intentional hulling is carried out (p).  Removing the mucilage appears to be the largest obstacle standing between harvesting and drying the coffee beans. Because of the complexity of cleaning coffee beans, proprietary methods abound.  Most plantations use fermentation to soften and remove the mucilage and fermentation may last from as little as six hours to three days.  Gentle mechanical scrubbing is useful in shortening fermentation time (q).  For all competent plantations, sanitation and avoiding fungal and bacterial spoilage results in good tasting, commercially successful coffee (r).
Molding may occur during storage.  For all their talk about ‘cradle to grave’ protection from mycotoxins, the authors of the bulletproofexec.com website make no specific mention on how their crop is stored.  It is my opinion that a multiple-project self-help enterprise that contracts out its coffee roasting (see next P) is likely to own no coffee storage facilities, and to exert little or no oversight upon shipping or storage.
Step#6 tells us that Upgraded Coffee is not a roaster and therefore exerts little control over the roast batches.  True, the roaster agent should meet the specifications elaborated by their client but how much oversight does Better Baby, LLC, Upgraded Coffee or David Asprey exert upon the roaster?   I am assuming that coffee is a side line of a self-help professional.  Is there someone who is a professional coffee buyer who works with the roaster?  I emailed the organization because I was curious who the roaster was.  Several weeks later......I received a reply.  They are roasted by Portland Roasting, a business that seems to be independent of Better Baby, LLC..  Portland Roasting's web site appears to be that of a sincere, ecologically-minded and globally-ethical company.  They play up their charitable projects in some 16 countries associated with their coffee-buying but say nothing about paying attention to mycotoxins.  The mycotoxin preoccupation seems solely in the lap of bulletproofexec.  Portland Roasting was awarded Roaster of the Year in 2012 by Roast Magazine.  I suppose this makes them the #1 roaster.  At least for a year.
According to the website, Upgraded Coffee will stay fresh for up to a year in the sealed package and up to 3 to 4 weeks after it’s been opened. However, hey state that Upgraded Coffee is best enjoyed within two weeks of receipt.  The last sentence sounds plausible, but when was it roasted?  This style of coffee preservation belongs in the domain of 'supermarket roasts' which have been given poor marks by multiple posters on the Coffeegeek forums.
Finally, let us not forget the forest of disclaimers that stalk the bottom of every website.  In the case of Upgraded Coffee, despite their claims, these include:
California Prop 65 Warning: Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity may be present in dietary supplements, nutritional food powders, grocery items and other products sold at UpgradedSelf.com.  
Some or all of the products you may order from UpgradedSelf.com may contain these chemicals.  These chemicals are not added to the products but are naturally occurring in many of the starting raw materials (ingredients) and/or result from the processing (cooking) of some of the food products.  When you buy products from UpgradedSelf.com, you verify that you have read the CA Prop 65 warning and purchase the products with full knowledge.

This supports my opinion that we live among a universe of microbes and it is impossible to drink coffee that is free from ochratoxin A and other unwanted compounds.
Finally, to balance anyone’s concern that they must give up coffee for the sake of health, here let me state that mycotoxins are everywhere and coffee may guard you against mycotoxin injury.  Regarding the first point, as one reads the mycotoxin literature, other foods carrying mycotoxins are mentioned as being more prevalent and having higher levels.  Studies of retail foods in Japan reported 10 of 21 samples of peanut butter contained aflatoxin, and ochratoxin A was found in 7 of 10 samples of rye, 24 of 50 samples of wheat flour, 12 of 20 samples of beer, 6 of 10 samples of wine, 7 of 11 samples of raisins, 3 of 9 samples of roasted coffee and 2 of 11 samples of green coffee.  The concentration of ochratoxin was way below EU thresholds for public safety in all samples.  Roast coffee averaged half the levels found in green coffee but green coffee had one third the levels found in raisins (s). In an extension of this research, aflatoxins were also found in 22 of 44 samples of ‘bitter chocolate’ (sorry, you chocolate lovers) (t). In the European paper cited previously, the source of the ochratoxin found in the blood of study volunteers was stated to be primarily from cereals (u).
With respect to the protective effects of coffee, biochemical studies suggest that several components of brewed coffee activate cellular defense mechanisms with the result that toxins are detoxified or their mutagenic effects are blocked.  These beneficial substances are caffeine and quite a few other substances such as several polyphenols and diterpenes, two, in particular: kahweol and cafestrol(v,w).

In summary, all coffee drinkers are exposed to aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and other fungal toxins and exposure cannot be avoided.  However, their contribution to human disease is completely unknown since all known disease effects take place in animal studies or in cell cultures.  In my opinion, the diet of the developed world offers too many competing toxins and dietary indiscretions that kill and maim us before the toll of mycotoxins could ever be significant.  For instance, the worst effect of aflatoxin is liver cancer, but liver cancer in the developed world is always preceded by cirrhosis (in which aflatoxin is not implicated) with very, very few exceptions (I am not going to cite this – it is easy to find out if you take issue with this opinion).  Also, mycotoxins are carried by hundreds of food products, not just coffee.  Chocolate, raisins, peanuts and wheat seem especially prone to contamination.  Also in my opinion, coffee harvesting, processing and storing that optimizes the quality and sale value of a coffee harvest also serves to minimize the conditions under which fungi grow.  As long as dedicated buyers for George Howell’s Terroir, Intelligentsia and dozens of other roasters are prowling the world’s coffee plantations for the source of that ‘God shot’, there seems to be little reason to worry about the level of mycotoxins to which aficionados are exposed.  That does not mean the coffee trade should not be monitored for safety and it does not mean that all coffees have the same level of purity; studies have incidentally reported higher levels of ochratoxin A in instant coffee than in beans and the EU limits for ochratoxin A in instant coffee is twice the limit for roast beans.  Finally, just as coffee is a complex chemical solution, its biochemical effects are just as complex.  The answer to why coffee beans use their energy to produce so many compounds, caffeine chief among them, may lie in the conjecture that they, too, are fighting chemical warfare, in this case against bacteria, fungi and mycotoxins and that, by ingesting this marvelous broth, we, too, are enjoying the protective effects of their defenses.

  1.  Bayman P, Baker JL. Ochratoxins: A global perspective. Mycopathologia (2006) 162: 215-223.
  2.  Ibid.
  3.  Ibid.
  4.  Martins ML, Martins HM, Gimeno A. Incidence of microflora and ochratoxin A in green coffee beans (Coffee Arabica). Food Addit. Contam. (2003) 20(12):1127-31.
  5.  Studer-Rohr I, Dietrich DR, Schlatter J, Schlatter C.  The occurrence of ochrtoxin A in coffee. Food Chem Toxicol. 1995. 33(5):341-55.
  6.  Soliman KM. Incidence, level, and behavior of aflatoxins during coffee bean roasting and decaffeination. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 4;50(25):7477-81.
  7.  Micco C, Miraglia M, Brera C, Desiderio C, Masci V. The effect of roasting on the fate of aflatoxin B1 in artificially contaminated green coffee beans. Mycotoxin Res. 1992 Sep;8(2):93-7.
  8.  Powrie WD, Wu CH, Molund VP. Browning reaction systems as sources of mutagens and antimutagens. Environ Health Perspect. 1986 Aug;67:47-54.
  9.  Levi C. Mycotoxins in coffee. J Assoc Off Anal Chem. 1980 Nov;63(6):1282-5.
  10.  Sivetz M and Desrosier NW, “Harvesting and Handling Green Coffee Beans” in Coffee Technology pp. 74-116, 1979.  AVI Publications.
  11.  Sivetz, op. cit. p 81.
  12.  Yazheng L, Kitts DD. Confirmation that the Maillard reaction is the principle contributor to the antioxidant capacity of coffee brews. Food Res Intl (2011) 44(8):2418-24.
  13.  Sivetz M and Desrosier NW.  Op. Cit. pg 81.
  14.  http://www.ico.org/field_processing.asp
  15.  Sivetz, op. cit. p 97.
  16.   Ibid.
  17.  Sivetz, op. cit. p 103.
  18.   Sivetz, op. cit. pp. 78,79,81,82,83,87,88,97,102.
  19.  Sugita-Konishi Y, Nakajima M, et. Al. Occurrence of aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, and fumonisins in retail foods in Japan. J. Food Prot. (2006) 69(6):1365-70.
  20.  Kumagai S, Nakajima M, et. Al. Aflatoxin and ochratoxin A contamination of retail foods and intake of these mycotoxins in Japan. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2008 Sep;25(9):1101-6.
  21.  Bayman P, Baker JL.  Op. Cit.
  22.  Cavin C, Marin-Kuan M, et. Al. Induction of Nrf2-mediated cellular defenses and alteration of phase I activities as mechanisms of chemoprotective effects of coffee in the liver. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Apr;46(4):1239-48.
  23.  Huber WW, Parzefall W. Modification of N‐Acetyltransferases and Glutathione S‐Transferases by Coffee Components: Possible Relevance for Cancer Risk. Methods Enzymol. (2005) 401:307-41.
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scjavadr
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Joined: 14 Feb 2010
Posts: 50
Location: SC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 30, 2013, 7:38pm
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Wow!  Thanks for taking the time to do this.  I've been discussing this with some of my CrossFit friends who were intrigued by the claims of Bulletproof Coffee and have played around with their Upgraded Coffee, and who have since stopped drinking that.  I discussed my informal opinions regarding what I know from my biology days, which seems to be along the same track described in your post, but you have definitely done a lot of work to put that together.  Glad to read a non-promoting analysis of the product.
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri May 31, 2013, 3:25am
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Dear scjavadr,
Thank you for your encouragement.  It is nice to post something some else finds relevant.
B
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andys
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andys
Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 845
Location: NY
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Speedster, Londinium 1
Grinder: EK-43,Robur, HG One, M3
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: various
Roaster: PIDed Popper
Posted Fri May 31, 2013, 4:18pm
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Buckley, thanks for your detailed (!) post. Lots of good info in there.

 
-AndyS
picture page:  http://flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/
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myallawala
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myallawala
Joined: 25 Dec 2012
Posts: 86
Location: San Antonio, TX
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Mazzer Major & Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Yama Burner
Drip: Hario V60 & Chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Thanks for this. I read about this for a few hours one day and totally dropped it. ALMOST bought into it by doing my own experiment at home.
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Macuhail
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Joined: 4 May 2008
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Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 8:01am
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

It is good to find this detailed original post. Tough to know how much of an issue this is in terms of a health concern though. Here is a link to a test someone did at home that found possibly unsafe levels of aflatoxin in three out of three types of coffee tested: Click Here (www.openexperiment.com)
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 25, 2013, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Interesting.  Some assays for aflatoxin are affected by the presence of caffeine.  The old RIAs were that way.  I am not in the thick of it, so I do not know how specific and free from cross-reactivities the latest assays have become.  I would really encourage him to send the samples to a local lab, if he can afford it.  I sent him a comment about the same.

This is what Upgraded Coffee should be doing if it is on the level about being truly interested in being a source of toxin-free (or reduced) coffee.  Never mind the hype, just publish updated batch tests on a regular basis.

B
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jacksonbryce
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Joined: 9 Aug 2013
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Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Wow. This is extremely extensive. Thanks!
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Heissmeister
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Heissmeister
Joined: 6 Aug 2013
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Espresso: Rancilio Epoca
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Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Thus proving, yet again, that everything causes cancer.

I believe there are too many variables at play to point the finger at any one or two or even a handful of things cause cancer. At best, we have studies. But every human body is different. Lifestyle comes into play, and diet. But, I did try butter in my Organic, Fair Trade Colombian this morning. And, it's awesome! But! I would like to provide that it is not much different then a good french press.
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Upgraded Coffee, Bulletproof Coffee, Mycotoxins and Health
 

Note: The Bulletproof Executive (Upgraded Coffee) has raised their prices in the interim, so that the price premium between their product and top-level artisanal roasters is even larger.  Meanwhile, food mycotoxin research is being published at an increasing rate, but the studies target predominently cereals, dried fruits, prevalence in humans (ie, breast milk) with not much new regarding coffee.  If anyone has knowledge of a publication within the last two years (since 2012) addressing the issues in the original post (prevalence, effect of roasting, protective effects of accompanying alkaloids or fatty acids) it would be very much appreciated if you could post it on this thread.

Buckley
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