Drinking more coffee might help reduce the kind of liver damage that’s associated with overindulging in food and alcohol, a review of existing studies suggests.
Researchers analyzed data from nine previously published studies with a total of more than 430,000 participants and found that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was linked to a 44 percent lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis.
“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal and there is no cure as such,” said lead study author Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University in the U.K.
“Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage,” Kennedy added by email.
Cirrhosis kills more than one million people every year worldwide. It can be caused by hepatitis infections, excessive alcohol consumption, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease, which is tied to obesity and diabetes.
Kennedy and colleagues did a pooled analysis of average coffee consumption across earlier studies to see how much adding two additional cups each day might influence the odds of liver disease.
Combined, the studies included 1,990 patients with cirrhosis.