Drinking just two extra cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of cirrhosis up to 44 percent, study suggests.
Coffee can help reduce the risk of liver damage that is caused by extreme consumption of alcoholic beverages, according to a recent study. Drinking just two additional cups of coffee a day is linked to a 44% lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis.
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Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease which is typically a result of alcoholism. The disease is marked by deterioration of cells and inflammation of tissue where healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue and eventually it prevents the organ from functioning properly.
“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal and there is no cure as such,” said lead author Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University in England. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage.”
Researchers analyzed the data of nine previous studies that involved more than 430,000 participants and few of those studies lasted about 20 years. Researchers found that drinking more coffee can significantly reduce the risk of cirrhosis.
“For example, compared to no coffee, 1 cup per day was associated with a 22% lower risk of cirrhosis and 4 cups per day was associated with a 65% lower risk. However, there may be an upper limit beyond which there is no further benefit.” Kennedy told CNN.
Cirrhosis is a significant cause of death among people in the United States. According to recent estimates around 0.27% of Americans – 633,323 adults – have liver cirrhosis but 69% are unaware of the fact they have the disease. It suggests that the prevalence of the disease is likely higher than estimated because many cases are not diagnosed.
Researchers suggest that while coffee can reduce the risk of cirrhosis, it cannot eliminate the disease altogether. They also suggest there is a need of further research to fill the potential gap in previous researches.
“Coffee appeared to protect against cirrhosis. This could be an important finding for patients at risk of cirrhosis to help improve their health outcomes,” said Kennedy. “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.”
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