In a study from the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh, scientists found drinking coffee that is caffeinated (ground or instant) or decaffeinated is linked to a reduced risk of developing chronic liver disease and related liver conditions.
Chronic liver disease refers to a disease of the liver which lasts over a period of six months.
It consists of a wide range of liver pathologies which include inflammation (chronic hepatitis), liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cirrhosis, also known as liver cirrhosis or hepatic cirrhosis, and end-stage liver disease, is the impaired liver function caused by the formation of scar tissue known as fibrosis due to damage caused by liver disease.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma occurs most often in people with chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection.
Chronic liver disease is a growing cause of morbidity and death worldwide, particularly in low to middle-income countries with high disease burdens and limited treatment resources.
Many studies have linked coffee drinking to a lowered risk of some types of cancer, including prostate cancer, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, and some cancers of the mouth and throat.
Drinking coffee has been linked to a lower risk of chronic liver disease, but little is known about the effects of different coffee types, which vary in chemical composition.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine associations of coffee drinking, including decaffeinated, instant, and ground coffee, with chronic liver disease outcomes.
The team used data from almost half a million people, including 384,818 coffee drinkers and 109,767 non-coffee drinkers.
During the study follow-up period, there were 3600 cases of chronic liver disease, 5439 cases of fatty liver disease, 184 cases of HCC, and 301 deaths from chronic liver disease.
The researchers found that compared to non-coffee drinkers, coffee drinkers had a lower risk of chronic liver disease and death from chronic liver disease and HCC.
The associations for decaffeinated, instant, and ground coffee individually were similar to all types combined.
The team says that all types of coffee are protective against chronic liver disease. Given the increasing incidence of chronic liver disease worldwide, the current findings are important. Coffee may work as an intervention to prevent chronic liver disease.
The study was conducted by Dr. Oliver Kennedy et al and published in BMC Public Health.
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