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Can Coffee Prevent Liver Cancer?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Can coffee lower your risk of liver cancer? The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, a study that has tracked more than 520,000 people from 10 countries for 15 years, suggests that it does.

Researchers compared the coffee intakes reported by 125 healthy people who were later diagnosed with the most common liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) to the intakes reported by 250 similar people without the disease.

Those who drank at least 2-1/2 cups of coffee a day had a 75% lower risk of liver cancer than those who drank less than 1-1/4 cups a day. What's more, the coffee drinkers had lower blood levels of interleukin-6 (an indicator of inflammation) and other markers of liver injury, which could explain how coffee may protect the liver.

The study didn't look at decaf and regular coffee separately.

What to do: It's too early to aim for four cups of coffee a day to protect your liver. Keep in mind that one venti at Starbucks holds 2-1/2 cups, and that caffeinated coffee can make you jittery and increase the risk of miscarriage.

But if you enjoy coffee, there's no reason to stop. Researchers also find that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and that caffeinated coffee lowers the risk of Parkinson's disease.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015
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