Drinking Coffee Linked To Lower Rates Of Liver Cirrhosis

(Reuters Health) – Drinking more coffee might help reduce the kind of liver damage that’s associated with overindulging in food and alcohol, a review of existing studies suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from nine previously published studies with a total of more than 430,000 participants and found that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was linked to a 44 percent lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis.

“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal and there is no cure as such,” said lead study author Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University in the U.K.

“Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage,” Kennedy added by email.

Cirrhosis involves a hardening and destruction of liver tissue and kills more than one million people every year worldwide. It can be caused by hepatitis infections, excessive alcohol consumption, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease, which is tied to obesity and diabetes.

Kennedy and colleagues did a pooled analysis of average coffee consumption across earlier studies to see how much adding two additional cups each day might influence the odds of liver disease.

Combined, the studies included 1,990 patients with cirrhosis.

In eight of the nine studies analyzed, increasing coffee consumption by two cups a day was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of cirrhosis.

In all but one study, the risk of cirrhosis continued to decline as daily cups of coffee climbed.

Compared to no coffee consumption, researchers estimated one cup a day was tied to a 22 percent lower risk of cirrhosis. With two cups, the risk dropped by 43 percent, while it declined 57 percent for three cups and 65 percent with four cups.

But the results still leave some unresolved questions.

One study, for example, found a stronger link between coffee consumption and reduced cirrhosis risk with —> Read More

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