Drinking any type of coffee associated with a reduced risk of chronic liver disease

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Newswise – Drinking caffeinated (ground or instant) or decaffeinated coffee is associated with a reduced risk of developing chronic liver disease and associated liver conditions, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

Researchers at the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh, UK, found that consuming any type of coffee was associated with a reduced risk of developing and dying from chronic liver disease compared to non- coffee consumption, the benefit reaching three to four cups per day.

The authors looked at UK Biobank data on 495,585 participants with known coffee consumption, who were followed for a median of 10.7 years to monitor who developed chronic liver disease and associated liver conditions.

Of all participants in the study, 78% (384,818) consumed caffeinated or decaffeinated ground or instant coffee, while 22% (109,767) did not drink any type of coffee. During the study period, there were 3,600 cases of chronic liver disease, including 301 deaths. In addition, there were 5,439 cases of chronic liver disease or steatosis (an accumulation of fat in the liver also known as fatty liver disease) and 184 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Compared to non-coffee drinkers, coffee drinkers had a 21% reduced risk of chronic liver disease, a 20% reduced risk of chronic liver disease or fatty liver disease, and a 49% reduced risk of death from disease. chronic hepatic. The maximum benefit was seen in the group who drank ground coffee, which contains high levels of the ingredients Kahweol and cafestol, which have been shown to be beneficial against chronic liver disease in animals.

Instant coffee, which has low levels of Kahweol and cafestol, has also been linked to a reduced risk of chronic liver disease. While the risk reduction was smaller than that associated with ground coffee, the results may suggest that other ingredients, or potentially a combination of ingredients, may be of benefit.

Lead author Dr Oliver Kennedy said: “Coffee is widely available and the benefits we see from our study may mean that it could offer a potential preventative treatment for chronic liver disease. This would be particularly useful in countries with low income and more difficult access to health care and where the burden of chronic liver disease is greatest. “

The authors caution that because coffee consumption was only reported when participants first enrolled in the study, the study does not account for any changes in the amount or type of coffee consumed. over the 10.7 year study period. As the participants were predominantly white and from a higher socioeconomic background, the results may be difficult to generalize to other countries and populations.

The authors suggest that future research could test the relationship between coffee and liver disease with tighter monitoring of the amount of coffee consumed. They also propose to validate their results with more diverse groups of participants.

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BMC Public Health is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that examines articles on the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. The journal focuses particularly on the social determinants of health, the environmental, behavioral and occupational correlates of health and disease, and the impact of health policies, practices and interventions on the community.

A pioneer in open access publishing, BMC has a growing portfolio of high-quality peer-reviewed journals, including high-interest titles such as BMC Biology and BMC Medicine, specialist journals such as Malaria Journal and Microbiome, and the BMC series. At BMC, research is still ongoing. We are committed to continuously innovating to better meet the needs of our communities, ensure the integrity of the research we publish, and champion the benefits of open research. BMC is part of Springer Nature, which gives us greater opportunities to help authors connect and advance discoveries around the world.


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