Research shows that drinking coffee has many health benefits. However, it isn’t exactly known why it can help prevent diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver. The latest hurrah for coffee comes from a new study (Systematic review with meta-analysis: coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis) published in the science journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, who found a direct correlation between coffee consumption and reduced risk of cirrhosis of the liver.
The findings were amassed from a meta-analysis of nine separate coffee-related studies conducted by various researchers over a number of years. From it, researchers concluded that people who drink two additional cups of coffee above average consumption rates have a 44 percent lower risk of developing cirrhosis, an incurable disease that kills roughly 1 million people each year.
The numbers improve to 57 percent and 65 percent at three and four additional cups, above the average. Just one extra cup can lower a person’s chance of developing cirrhosis by 22 percent.
The apparent protective effects of coffee were culled from studies that included more than 430,000 men and women.
They represent the latest in a series of studies evaluating how caffeinated coffee’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce the risk of people developing everything from Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and liver disease.
“This could be an important finding for patients at risk of cirrhosis to help to improve their health outcomes,” Dr. Oliver Kennedy, who led the study for the University of Southampton, said in a statement. “However, we now need robust clinical trials to investigate the wider benefits and harms of coffee so that doctors can make specific recommendations to patients.”
What’s in the Bean?
Medical professionals, including the study’s authors, are quick to point out that it’s not entirely clear which chemical properties in coffee, including but not limited to caffeine, are responsible for protecting the liver from cirrhosis.
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