New study shows that coffee decreases the risk of liver disease

Coffee is once again being acclaimed for its stunning health benefits. A new scientific research- that extended over a period of 26 years- has concluded that consuming coffee can keep liver disease away. Good news for coffee lovers in the United Kingdom where about 55 million cups of coffee are consumed every day.

These new findings were presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting in Boston. The team led by Emily Hu, a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, based its research on 14,208 people aged between 45 and 64 who had participated in the national Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. The research team concluded that people who drank three or more cups of coffee per day have 21% lower risk of suffering from liver-related illnesses. Liver diseases are considered as the fifth biggest killer in England and Wales and year-on-year, it is still imposing itself as a major cause of death.

Bad habits do not reduce the health benefits of coffee

Over this 26-year period, the 14,208 participants living in North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Maryland, had to fill out questionnaires on what food they consumed and whether they consumed coffee or not. The average person drank a little less than two 220g cups daily. The research team cross-referenced data collected with hospital discharge records and death certificates, including information collected from people who experienced liver-related hospitalizations and death. The cohort drinking coffee also presented a mix of characteristics and the team noted that those consuming high quantity of coffee were more likely to be smokers and more inclined to consume alcohol too.

The interesting aspect that Emily Hu and her team remarked is that the benefits of coffee with regards to liver health were not reduced even when other factors such as bad diets or smoking, race, income or other health issues were taken into consideration. The team underlines that coffee lovers can continue drinking coffee without guilt. Doctors, on their side, acknowledge that the results of this study are in line with past research on coffee being directly linked to lower risk for liver disease. Liver specialists affirm that drinking coffee specifically help those who had evidence of alcoholic liver disease, provided they stop consuming alcohol. They equally highlight that previous large studies comprising of over 430,000 participants have also concluded that drinking coffee is directly linked to a considerable decrease in developing cirrhosis, especially in those who tend to overeat and consume alcohol.

Even heavy coffee intake boosts longevity

Even if coffee fuels the world, it has long been a controversial beverage amongst many people. Over time, however, views on just how healthy coffee is have deflected from negative to positive with piles of research and studies coming to buttress its manifold health benefits. Time and again, scientific research works are highlighting how drinking coffee can keep away various serious and even life-threatening diseases. Prospective cohorts in North America, Europe, and Asia prove consistent inverse relations between coffee consumption and mortality, including deaths from cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Still, concerns about coffee, particularly among people with common genetic polymorphisms affecting caffeine metabolism and among those drinking more than 5 cups per day, remain. This is the reason why a research team at UK Biobank decided to dig deeper to understand whether heavy coffee intake could increase the risk of mortality.

Their findings were published earlier in July 2018. The study consisted of half million people including those drinking 1 up to 8 or even more cups of coffee per day. The participants all live in the UK and the study took off in 2006 and ended in 2016. The average age of the participants was 57 years; 54% were female, and 78% were coffee drinkers. During this time frame, 14,225 deaths occurred. The research team state that coffee drinking is inversely associated with all-cause mortality, even for those consuming over 8 or more cups per day and those having genetic polymorphisms indicating slower or faster caffeine metabolism. These findings provide additional reassurance that coffee drinking can be part of a truly healthy diet.

Coffee drinkers are protected against life-threatening diseases

At the end of 2017, a review based on over 200 scientific studies was published by the University of Southampton, asserting that coffee consumption drastically reduces the risk of life-threatening liver diseases. It has established that the consumption of three cups of coffee reduces the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by 29% compared to a person not consuming coffee; the risk of liver fibrosis is reduced by 27%, while the risk of liver cirrhosis is diminished by 39%.

Roasted coffee is, as a matter of fact, packed with over 1,000 bioactive compounds bearing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifibrotic and anticancer effects. As a result, it is considered as reducing the risk of early mortality as well. Researchers have reached the conclusion that three to four cups of coffee per day offer maximum benefits but that even seven cups of coffee daily lowers the risk of all-cause mortality rate by 10%. Consumption of coffee is likewise linked to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by approximately 30%, and certain types of cancer such as endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, leukaemia, liver cancer, oral cancer amongst others.

Other than that, numerous studies have proven that coffee intake guards against degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Three to five cups of coffee per day have shown to have a positive effect on physiological and age-related cognitive decline, especially in women over 80 years old. An inverse association has also been established between lifelong coffee consumption and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe that apart from caffeine itself, other coffee constituents such as Polyphenols and trigonelline do play an important role. Researchers have furthermore noted that coffee consumption does have a preventive effect on Parkinson’s disease since caffeine is believed to play a key role on certain receptors in the body.