After reviewing data from nine published studies, researchers have come to the conclusion that drinking more coffee may help reduce liver cirrhosis, a type of liver damage associated with overeating and an overindulgence in alcohol consumption. Cirrhosis can be fatal and to date, there is a not a cure for it. The studies, which featured more then 430,000 participants, show that consuming two more cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing cirrhosis by 44 percent.
Dr. Oliver Kennedy, the lead study author who works at Southampton University in the United Kingdom, says that this is a significant finding, especially since coffee is a “cheap, ubiquitous, and well tolerated beverage.” Kennedy and the rest of his research team conducted an analysis on average coffee consumption to observe how much adding two more cups of coffee a day may influence the chance of liver cirrhosis. This pooled analysis was based on the nine studies.
In eight of the total nine studies they analyzed, it was shown that increasing consumption of coffee reduced the risk of cirrhosis. Researchers estimate that people who only drink one cup of coffee a day reduce their liver cirrhosis risk by 22 percent. Each added cup of coffee a day reduces the risk by a greater percentage.
It is important to note that all nine studies accounted for cirrhosis caused by alcohol consumption, but not for other risk factors that cause liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis, which is the hardening and killing of liver tissue, is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections, immune disorders, obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease.
It is also important that people do not take these findings to mean that by drinking more coffee a day, they can continue to consume a lot of alcohol and food and never risk getting liver cirrhosis. According to Kennedy, it is not clear how coffee may lead to a healthy liver because it is “a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds, and it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver.”