New research says coffee linked to reduction in liver damage.
A number of recent studies are touting the benefits of coffee drinking as being beneficial to your overall health, but a new one just released is saying coffee drinking may help reduce liver damage caused by overdoing it with alcohol and food.
A Reuters report says researchers looked at data from nine previously published studies and found a link between drinking two additional cups of coffee each day and a 43 percent lower risk of developing cirrhosis of the liver.
Cirrhosis, which kills over one million people each year worldwide, is potentially fatal, and there is no cure, according to the lead author on the study, Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University in the United Kingdom. It can be caused by a hepatitis infection, excessive alcohol consumption, immune disorders and fatty liver disease, normally tied to obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Kennedy said in an email, “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage.”
The nine studies the Dr. Kennedy and the team reviewed included 1,990 patients who had cirrhosis. The researchers wanted to look at what effect an additional two cups of coffee each day would have on the odds of getting the disease. The findings revealed, in eight of the nine studies, increased coffee consumption was associated with a reduction in the risk by a significant amount. Also, in eight of the nine studies, the risk of cirrhosis declined with each increase in coffee consumption.
The researchers estimated drinking an extra cup of coffee each day was linked with a 22 percent lower risk of cirrhosis, two cups with a 43 percent lower risk, 57 percent at three cups, and 65 percent with four cups.
The study authors caution we should not immediately start a coffee binge, as there are many unknowns with regard to the benefits derived from the beverage. Dr. Kennedy warns, “Coffee is a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds, and it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver.”
Of course, coffee alone can not undo the damage caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as heavy alcohol consumption and being overweight or obese, and experts say all these things must be taken into consideration. Making health conscious choices can prevent the need to undo damage caused to the body by over-indulging.