Additional coffee consumption may lower the risk of liver diseases

A review of existing studies suggests that drinking more coffee might help mitigate the kind of liver damage linked to overindulging in food and alcohol.

Additional coffee consumption

Data more than 430,000 participants from nine previously published studies was analyzed. Researchers found that drinking two extra cups of coffee per day could lower 44 percent risk of developing liver cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is a fatal disease and there is no cure as such. Thus, it is noticeable that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be lowered by consumption of a very cheap, popular and well-tolerated drink like coffee, according to Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University in the U.K.

Every year, more than one million people are killed by this dangerous disease globally. It can follow hepatitis infections, immune disorders, excessive alcohol consumption, and fatty liver disease, which leads to obesity and diabetes.

Kennedy and partners did a pooled analysis of average coffee consumption across previous studies to figure out the how many additional cups each day might reduce the development of cirrhosis. 1,990 patients with cirrhosis were observed in the study. Eight out of the nine studies analyzed showed an association between adding two cups of coffee a day and a noticeable reduction in the risk of cirrhosis.

Researchers also found that one cup of coffee a day was associated with a 22 percent lower risk of cirrhosis, two cups were equivalent to 43 percent lower risk, with 3 cups, the risk declined 57 percent and it dropped by 65 percent with four cups, compared to no coffee consumption.

However, some questions remain unresolved. For example, one study found a stronger connection between coffee consumption and lowered cirrhosis risk with filtered coffee than with boiled coffee. While alcohol consumption was accounted for cirrhosis, other cirrhosis risk factors like obesity and diabetes weren’t be included in the studies. This was noted in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, online January 25.

Patients also should not take the findings to try to consume as many frothy caramel lattes packed with sugar as possible to prevent liver disease, Kennedy warned. It’s still unclear exactly how coffee might result in a healthier liver because coffee is a compound mixture containing hundreds of chemicals, and it is vague which of them is responsible for protecting the liver, he added.

Unfortunately, despite anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant effects of some compounds in coffee, drinking a few cups of coffee a day isn’t powerful enough to counteract negative lifestyles that are extremely harmful to the liver, such as excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, sedentary and being overweight or obese, said Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York city.

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