Gettyimages.ru Daniele Jesus / EyeEm
Numerous studies point to the many benefits that a daily cup of coffee can bring to overall health.
It appears that whether you prefer caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, they are all associated with a lower risk of chronic liver disease and other liver diseases.
Researchers at the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh found that drinking any type of coffee reduced the risk of developing and dying from chronic liver disease compared to not drinking coffee, with the benefit peaking at drinking three to four cups a day.
The researchers studied data from 495,585 coffee drinkers from the UK Biobank and followed them for more than 10 years, while watching for those who had chronic liver disease and related liver disease.
About four out of five participants drank ground, decaffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, while two out of 10 participants drank no coffee at all. Over the 10 years, there were 3,600 cases of chronic liver disease, including 301 deaths. There were also 5,439 cases of fatty liver disease or steatosis (accumulation of fat in the liver), and 184 cases of liver cancer.
Compared with non-coffee drinkers, coffee drinkers had a 21 percent lower risk of chronic liver disease, a 20 percent lower risk of fatty liver disease, and a 49 percent lower risk of death from chronic liver disease.
The researchers found that the greatest benefit was observed in the group that drank ground coffee, which contains high levels of coffee and cafestol, which have been shown to be beneficial against chronic liver disease in animals possibly because they protect the body from oxidative stress.
And when it came to instant coffee, which contains lower levels of coffee and cafestol, there was a lower risk of chronic liver disease, although the lower risk was lower than for ground coffee.
Dr. Oliver Kennedy, lead author of the study, explained: “The benefits we see from our study may mean that it could offer a preventative treatment for chronic liver disease. This would be beneficial in low-income countries and worse access to health care where the burden of chronic liver disease is higher.”
The authors suggest that future research could test the relationship between coffee and liver disease with more control over the amount of coffee consumed. They also suggest validating the results in more diverse groups of people.