People who drink coffee regularly have a reduced risk of developing chronic liver disease. The type of coffee doesn’t matter as both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee offer the same benefits.
Oliver Kennedy at the University of Southampton in the UK and his colleagues analysed data from 384,818 coffee drinkers and 109,767 people who did not drink any coffee.
These individuals were monitored over a median period of 10.7 years for conditions of the liver including chronic liver disease, chronic liver disease or steatosis (fatty liver disease), and death from chronic liver disease – of which there were 3600, 5439, and 301 cases respectively.
“Overall, coffee seems to be beneficial for most health outcomes. This is not just for chronic liver disease but also for other diseases, such as chronic kidney disease and some cancers,” says Kennedy.
“Nobody knows exactly which compounds are responsible for the potential protective effect against chronic liver disease. However, our findings that all types of coffee are protective indicates that a combination of compounds may be at work.”
The individuals who drank coffee consumed an average of two cups of decaffeinated, instant, or ground coffee each day. They had a 21 per cent lower risk of developing chronic liver disease and a 20 per cent lower risk of developing chronic liver disease or steatosis than their non-coffee drinking counterparts. They were also 49 per cent less likely to die from chronic liver disease.
“I think it’s necessary to establish how many cups of coffee is necessary to drink per day,” says Ludovico Abenavoli at the Magna Græcia University of Catanzaro in Italy.
Rather than looking to real life populations, clinical trials could provide such answers, he says.