Daily coffees may cut risk of chronic liver disease, study finds

Jun 22, 2021
The brew could be linked to a lower chance of developing chronic liver disease. Source: Getty

Coffee lovers rejoice! New research suggests the brew could be linked to a lower chance of developing or dying from chronic liver disease. Researchers at the universities of Southampton and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom found that drinking any type of coffee was associated with a reduced risk of developing and dying from chronic liver disease compared with not drinking coffee, with the benefit peaking at three to four cups per day.

For the study, the authors studied UK Biobank data on 494,585 participants with known coffee consumption, who were followed over a median of 10.7 years to monitor who developed chronic liver disease and related liver conditions. Of those studied, 78 per cent (384,818) consumed ground or instant caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, while 22 per cent (109,767) did not drink any type of coffee.

During the study period, the authors said there were 3,600 cases of chronic liver disease, including 301 deaths. There were also 5,439 cases of fatty liver disease and 184 cases of Hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Compared with non-coffee drinkers, coffee drinkers had a 21 per cent reduced risk of chronic or fatty liver disease. The coffee drinkers also had a 49 per cent reduced risk of death from chronic liver disease. The authors also pointed out that the maximum benefit was seen in the group who drank ground coffee. The results were published in the open access journal BMC Public Health on Tuesday.

“Coffee is widely accessible, and the benefits we see from our study may mean it could offer a potential preventative treatment for chronic liver disease,” Dr Oliver Kennedy, the lead author, said. “This would be especially valuable in countries with lower income and worse access to healthcare and where the burden of chronic liver disease is highest.”

This isn’t the first study to highlight coffee’s health benefits. Consumption of the brew has previously been linked to a lower relative risk of bowel and breast cancers, and a study published in the online journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care in October 2020 found drinking two or more cups was associated with a 63 per cent lower risk of death over a period of five years.

What to know which instant coffee brands were recently rated Australia’s favourites? Read this.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you drink coffee regularly?

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