All kinds of coffee could lower the risk of chronic liver disease, fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and deaths from chronic liver disease. That’s according to a large new study from researchers at the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, published in the journal BMC Public Health. The greatest benefit, it found, was drinking three to four cups a day – even decaf. Ground coffee is said to be slightly more beneficial than instant coffee.
Globally, there are 2 million deaths annually from liver disease. The most affected areas are sub-Saharan Africa as well as Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Consuming alcohol, being overweight, and having diabetes are all risk factors.
There have been smaller studies showing the link between liver health and coffee, but this one has found a more significant link. One potential flaw, however, is the sampling. The study involved people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds, and other lifestyle factors may also play a large part. This means the findings may not be universally applicable. In fact some studies have shown opposite results, according to biochemist Prof. Nathan Davies, of University College London’s Institute for Liver and Digestive Health.
Image: Nathan Dumlao