While most of us have heard about the health benefits of drinking coffee, a new study has found that increasing coffee consumption may substantially reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis, according to Medical News Today. Researchers from the University of Southampton in the U.K. analyzed data from nine long-term studies which in total cover nearly half a million men and women and six countries.
The research was published in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics journal.
Data analysis reveals a dose-response relationship between coffee consumption and liver cirrhosis in which more cups consumed per day is linked to lower risk. Specifically, two extra cups of coffee per day were linked to a 44 percent decreased risk for developing liver cirrhosis and a nearly 50 percent decreased risk for dying of the disease.
The researchers suggest that the biologically active ingredients in coffee may “confer protection against liver fibrosis.” These include, “oxidative and anti-inflammatory agents, such as chlorogenic acid, kahweol and cafestol,” and of course, caffeine. An indirect effect from coffee is also possible, according to the researchers, who cite lab studies showing that various compounds in coffee block hepatitis B and C viruses.
The paper emphasizes the significance of this link between increased daily coffee consumption and reduced risk in liver cirrhosis. The authors note that “statin therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25%.” Robust clinical trials are needed so that doctors can provide more specific recommendations to patients.