T Nation

Instant Coffee and Moobs


I have read a few articles linking the two, and if anyone can chime in (attention calling Bill Roberts LOL) I would appreciate the opinions on this...



The article mentions roasted peanuts as well. I'm be more concerned personally about that than the instant coffee, since I consume much more peanut butter than instant coffee.


The question would be what specific phytoestrogens are present and whether those that are present have tendency to cause "moobs" or not.

Lumping all phytoestrogens together and assuming that anything, being a phytoestrogen, must cause "moobs" would be in error.

I don't know whether the original scientist cited made that error or not; the popular article may have simplified what he had to say.

However, his claims as reported in the article are so broad that I tend to wonder if he did not overgeneralize in that way. Obviously, for example, roasted peanuts, instant coffee, and tea at least very often do not cause moobs or any trace of them whatsoever. Did he find evidence that they do cause increased incidence? Or did he assume it because they contain phytoestrogens. One cannot say from the popular article.


Roasted peanuts? Man, I eat these in place of peanut butter (much more convenient to eat at my desk).

Apparently everything we eat is going to do us in. So on one hand, roasting peanuts can improve their antioxidant content, and they're also a source of resveratrol (like red wine) but on the other hand, they're going to give us moobs. If I eat enough red meat, will that negate the effect of the peanuts? :slight_smile:

From the Wikipedia entry for peanut:

[quote]Research conducted by a team of University of Florida scientists, published in the journal Food Chemistry, shows that peanuts contain high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols, primarily a compound called p-coumaric acid, and that roasting can increase peanuts' p-coumaric acid levels, boosting their overall antioxidant content by as much as 22% ...

Peanuts are a significant source of resveratrol, a chemical studied for potential anti-aging effects and also associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and reduced cancer risk.[\quote]


Why do you say roasted peanuts are "going to give us moobs" ?

What is the evidence?


It's almost like the article is the exact opposite of what I thought, meaning red wine is anti-estrogenic reducing moobs. It kinda lumps all phytoestrogens into 1 category, and it's a bad one. I find it hard to believe, which is why I wanted to run this by you Bill.


You pick a good example: resveratrol is classified as a phytoestrogen, but that doesn't mean it has any tendency towards causing moobs.

I can't judge the person in question based on how he was reported in the popular press, but given only that, and that it is not unknown for people including scientists to make broad mistakes, it may be and I think likely is just as simple as his painting all phytoestrogens with the same brush.


Looking into it a little further, Dr Gunther Kuhnle appears to specialize in analytical chemistry. His doctorate is in biochemistry, but his actual research was use of MALDI-MS and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry in investigation of enzymatic reactions.

His published papers seem to all be on analytical chemistry of foods.

He seems to have no research on effects of anything that he detects.

Nor does he seem to claim much is conclusively known about the effects: on his webpage ( http://www.kuhnle.co.uk/wordpress/ ) he writes "Phytoestrogens are secondary plant metabolites with structural and functional similarities [to] oestradiol. Their biological effect has been investigated for some times [sic] but the results so far are inconclusive."

So there you have it from the horse's mouth.

It does seem that in the popular article, he is using a broad brush without any proof that specific compounds in question cause "moobs."

But hey, churning up some interest in phytoestrogens found in foods could just lead to more funding for analysis of phytotestrogen levels in other foods, I suppose.


Yeah, it's all about keeping the funding coming... I'm so glad I went into industry.... I'll also continue to eat dry roasted peanuts. Sorry, I wasn't saying that they would give moobs, I was just surprised to see them mentioned. Perhaps someone should actually try a controlled study on people (including bloodwork) with each of the suspect foods before letting articles like that be written.


hey Bill, sorry to hound you here, but did you get my PM I sent you a while back? last I checked it showed unread


I was shocked when I saw this when researching moobs, I thought it was worth running by you Bill. You are the shit.


I'm sorry -- I'm so woefully behind on PM's that I've about given up hope. It's not a good thing: everyone, and certainly you, deserved an answer.

If you can send again it will at least be at the top. Thanks!


no problem man. I'm aware that you probably get a lot of them, and you're kind enough to volunteer your time on these forums as it is, so I never expected a fast reply, just figured you might have missed it with all the ones you do get.