Drinking coffee 'drastically reduces risk of cirrhosis' - study

The research team studied data from nine earlier studies involving 430,000 participants, 1990 of who had cirrhosis. Photo / iStock
The research team studied data from nine earlier studies involving 430,000 participants, 1990 of who had cirrhosis. Photo / iStock

Drinking two cups of coffee a day could reduce your chances of developing liver cirrhosis by as much as 44 per cent, say researchers at Southampton University.

The research team studied data from nine earlier studies involving 430,000 participants, 1990 of who had cirrhosis.

In eight of the studies analysed, increasing coffee consumption by two cups a day was associated with a significantly reduced risk of cirrhosis. Moreover, the risk continued to decline as more coffee was consumed.

One cup a day could lower the risk of cirrhosis by 22 per cent, researchers found, while two cups reduced the risk by 43 per cent, three cups by 57 per cent, and four cups by 65 per cent.

More than a million people die from cirrhosis each year worldwide. It can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, immune disorders, hepatitis and fatty liver disease.

"Cirrhosis is potentially fatal and there is no cure as such," said lead study author Dr Oliver Kennedy.

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

However, he cautioned that it is not currently clear exactly how coffee benefits liver health: "Coffee is a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds, and it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver," he said.

It's also probably a bad idea to start drinking large amounts of coffee for the benefit of your health.

According to a 2013 study, drinking five or more cups a day increases the amount of fat stored in the abdomen.

Even a "moderate intake" of coffee in the average day could also lead to problems such as increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 24 May 2017 20:11:14 Processing Time: 445ms