One can argue endlessly about the dangers and benefits of coffee. Still, scientists from the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh (UK) have found another argument for drinking coffee regularly, with any: ground, instant, and even decaf. Researchers have found that drinking any coffee (about 3-4 cups a day) is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic liver disease.
The study involved 495,585 people whose nutritional and health data were stored in a British biobank. Of all participants, 78% (384,818) consumed ground or instant caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, and 22% (109,767) did not drink coffee at all.
On average, the subjects were followed for 10.7 years to understand who could develop the chronic liver disease during this time. Over the entire period, 3,600 cases of chronic liver diseases were registered, including 301 deaths. In addition, there were 5439 cases of steatosis (accumulation of fat in the liver, also known as fatty liver disease) and 184 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (a type of liver cancer).
A study published in BMC Public Health found that coffee drinkers had a 21% lower risk of developing chronic liver disease than non-coffee drinkers. Also, coffee lovers are 20% less likely to develop fatty liver disease and 49% less chance of dying from chronic liver disease. The maximum effect was noted in the group consuming ground coffee with a high content of ingredients such as kahweol and cafestol.
Coffee is an affordable beverage for many, and the benefits we found in our research mean it may offer a potential preventative treatment for chronic liver disease. This will be especially useful in countries with lower income and health problems, said Dr. Oliver Kennedy, lead author of the study.
In the future, scientists plan to do more research to test the relationship between coffee and liver disease with more restrictive drinking.