For Your Liver’s Sake, You Should Probably Keep Drinking Coffee

More than half of American grown-ups drink coffee every day. Their non-sipping counterparts may want to follow suit.

The health benefits associated with drinking coffee are plenty: The brew is packed with antioxidants and downing a cup can help wake up the brain and make a person feel more alert and focused. A new report published by the World Cancer Research Fund found that the apparently magical liquid can also decrease a person’s risk for liver cancer.

The numbers are pretty significant: Researchers found that a consistent love for coffee could lower liver cancer risk by 14 percent. As part of ongoing research for the Continuous Update Project, a research team at Imperial College London analyzed 34 existing global studies about how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weigh relate to cancer risk and survival. Collectively, the studies covered approximately 8.2 million adults and 24,500 cases of liver cancer. Researchers are not sure why coffee might protect against the disease, but they hypothesized that certain compounds in the beverage could help to fight toxins. “Both coffee and coffee extracts have also been shown to reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammation, and the effects appear to be most pronounced in the liver,” the report reads.

Researchers also found that those with an alcohol habit benefited from the addition a coffee habit: Those who consumed about three alcoholic beverages a day could reduce liver damage, ultimately lessening their risk for liver cancer.

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