It turns out two cups a day may keep the doctor away.
According to a review of existing studies by the journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, drinking more coffee may assist in the reduction of liver damage associated with overconsumption of food and alcohol.
The research of analyzed data of over 430,000 participants discovered that drinking two additional cups of coffee each day reduced the risk of developing liver cirrhosis by 44 percent.
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Cirrhosis kills more than one million people daily across the globe, and can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections, immune disorders and fatty liver disease linked to diabetes and obesity.
With the help of colleagues, lead study author Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University (United Kingdom) created a pooled analysis of average coffee consumption compared to earlier studies in an attempt to find out how much adding two extra cups daily may influence the chances of contracting liver disease.
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“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal and there is no cure as such,” said Kennedy. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage.”
Eight of the nine studies analyzed revealed increasing coffee consumption by two cups a day correlated with a significant reduction in cirrhosis risk. Compared to someone not drinking coffee at all, researchers estimate one cup a day led to a 22 lower percent chance of cirrhosis, while two cups lowered the risk by 43 percent, 57 percent for three cups and 65 percent with four cups.
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But the findings may in fact mean more research is still needed. For example, another recent study has found a stronger link between filtered coffee consumption compared to boiled coffee.
“We now need to conduct proper clinical trials, similar to those necessary for authorization of a new pharmaceutical product, so that doctors and health policy makers can make specific recommendations,” Kennedy said.