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Dr. Bob Arnot, M.D., internal medicine, is an award-winning journalist and a New York Times best-selling author. He is the former chief medical correspondent for CBS News: “CBS Evening News,” “48 Hours,” “CBS This Morning;” NBC News: “Dateline NBC,” “Today,” “NBC Nightly News;” and chief foreign correspondent for MSNBC News. Arnot was also the host of the “Dr. Danger” reality TV series that took viewers on his thrill-seeking adventures during dangerous travels to Africa where he explored the wilds of Somalia, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana and Sudan.  He is author of a dozen health and nutrition books, including New York Times best-sellers, “The Aztec Diet” (Harper Collins) and “The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet” (Little Brown). Arnot is a medical columnist for Men’s Journal and Vanity Fair. He has served on many humanitarian aid boards including Save the Children, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, Artists for Peace and Justice, U.S. Committee for Refugees and the Lindberg Foundation. After a long career of traveling to the most impoverished countries on the planet, Arnot launched Dr. Danger Coffee as a means to reward farmers in developing nations for practicing sustainable farming, while bringing Americans a selection of some of the world’s finest coffees with the most health benefits into the convenience of their own homes. As a seasoned storyteller, Arnot is passionate about telling the stories of the people behind the Dr. Danger Coffee, while giving back proceeds of profits to orphanages in Kenya that care for some of the most destitute children in Africa.

After years of reporting about the health risks of coffee, former medical correspondent Dr. Bob Arnot says he was wrong about the bean that is now being touted as one of the most inexpensive superfoods that possess a wide range of health benefits.  However, he cautions that you need to know your coffee, and how to brew it and consume it to make sure you are unlocking all the health benefits found in those beans.

Dr. Arnot breaks down the most compelling studies on coffee that are making health headlines today such as how coffee can help with depression, longevity and endurance; then he tell your listeners what they need to know to become a coffee connoisseur and reap the most health benefits from their favorite brew.


What about caffeine and heart condition?

Always check with your doctor on this. In a large New England Journal Study and several in Circulation, coffee was observed to be preventive for heart disease. Still, if you are very sensitive to caffeine, your doctor may warn you about drinking too much. Also, if you are a slow metabolizer of caffeine, too much coffee may increase your risk of heart disease, so stick with a high polyphenol decaf.

Dr., what about decaf coffee? Is there any benefit? Explain PLEASE


So you obviously lose the psychic boost you’ll get from caffeine. However we have found some decafs with spectacular level of polyphenols such as our Nightops. This is an Ethiopian coffee from a high altitude. Since I metabolize caffeine slowly, I will have one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning and then drink decaf the rest of the day. This one is truly delicious so you are giving up no taste. Polyphenols may improve blood vessel function, help to clear blood sugar and decrease the oxidation of fats.

I can’t stand coffee breath. If that coffee is that much better, will her breath be that much worst?

I find the very dark “burnt” coffees to cause the worst coffee breath. The lightly roast East African coffees have much less in my experience.

Do you have a website to order your coffee?

Is Maxwell House coffee good?

This is an inexpensive coffee and a very good value. We have tested it and it has 6227 mg/kg of the key polyphenol we test for. Dr Danger coffee has as much as 28193. Still for off the shelf coffees, Maxwell house does well against the competition.

I just started drinking coffee several months ago because I was attracted to the mocha caramel flavor coffee which is at the Speedway gas station. Is Colombian dark roast or House Blend really better? And are the artificial sugars really worse for you than regular sugar?

So my advice is this. Coffee is an astounding taste treat like a fine red wine if you buy really good beans and roast them lightly. There are 1200 flavor components to coffee and only 700 for red wine. For instance you may taste chocolate, nuts, fruits in it. Once you learn to taste coffees you will enjoy them far more than adding cream or sugar. In general, the lighter the roast and the better bean, the better the flavors and benefits.

I thought that coffee leads to hardening of arteries from the caffeine?

Not at all. If you are fast caffeine metabolizer, coffee can be very good for your vascular system. Of course, always ask your doctor what is best for you, but large observational studies show a deceased risk of heart disease with coffee consumption.

How is the average American supposed to differentiate between a high phenol coffee and a low phenol coffee? We all know that advertisers would manipulate the American public with labeling, Therefore how can the average American reap the benefits of having hi phenol coffee and trust the source?

Very good question. Dr Danger Coffee is the only one that currently lists phenol levels. We have tested a very wide range of coffees and you would be shocked at how low the levels are in some coffees. There will be a test website up next month that will list levels for various coffees.

I drink mine really strong – 12 scoops of coffee & 8 cups of water = 1/2 pot of pure bliss. Is extra strong coffee harmful?

I drink mine strong too and really enjoy it. Strong coffee has more polyphenols which can be very good for you. Just know how much caffeine you are able to handle. For instance I will use 22 grams instead of 14 grams an aeropress device. This 22 grams gives me 50% more caffeine than 14 grams.

What kind of coffee bean did you say was the best?

The ones we have in Dr Danger coffee have been tested to have the very highest polyphenol levels. If you are at a local roaster, look for highly roasted beans from high altitudes in East Africa. Remember light roasts unlock all the flavors in coffee. You can still have a very strong or bold cup of coffee by just adding more coffee…even if it is a light roast.

Is it true that coffee helps circulation in men and also helps erectile dysfunction as a result of this?

So always check with your doctor if you have ED since this can be the earliest sign of heart disease. The penile arteries are very small and most vulnerable to a bad diet, high blood sugar levels, diabetes and being overweight. That said, there is a study that showed a lower risk of ED with coffee consumption. The best coffees for this will be highest in polyphenols since these have the most effect on your blood vessels. Our Dr Danger Coffee called Hard Core has the highest polyphenols of all.

What about ground coffee?

The most health benefits come form the freshest coffee. My advice is to buy whole beans and grind them at home to unlock the flavor and give you the highest polyphenols. If you buy pre ground coffee, just be sure that the bag has been nitrogen flushed. You should buy and use these quickly after they have been roasted and ground.

What is the best coffee for everyday drinking?

The coffee that is healthiest for you like our Dr Danger Surgical Strike. At your local roaster look for excellent quality beans from East Africa that have been lightly roasted.

Is coffee good for burning fat before a workout?

Yes. One of the few real ways to truly burn fat. Coffee liberates free fatty acids as a fuel. I will often have two cups of our Dr Danger coffee in the morning before I workout and have nothing to eat. This allows my body to learn how to burn fat. This special coffee is loaded with polyphenols which takes the edge off of your workout by damping down oxidation. Coaches recommend this to athletes so they too can preferentially burn fat as a fuel. Since caffeine also boosts your metabolism, coffee can be a good way to maintain your weight.

Is it healthy to drink coffee if you have hypothyroidism?

Coffee does boost metabolism by about 100 calories a day. The caffeine is likely to improve your mood if you are still hypothyroid. So yes if you are currently hypothyroid you should feel better. You should also have a series of Thyroid tests including a TSH with an endocrinologist. If you are hypothyroid, than treating your disease is one of the great miracles of modern medicine. You’ll loose weight, gain energy and feel better than you have in years. The treatment is usually just a simple replacement thyroid hormone.

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Get Well Wednesday: Does Coffee Possess Some Health Benefits?  was originally published on