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Coffee lowers the risk of liver disease by up to 49%: scientists voice unexpected findings

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Drinking 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day decreases the likelihood of developing liver disease and the number of fatal cases from these ailments. This is the conclusion reached by a group of British scientists.

Chronic liver failure is a serious health problem for people around the world. According to the British Liver Trust, liver disease is the third leading cause of premature death in the UK, with deaths increasing 400% since 1970.

In a recent research paper published in BMC Public Health, Professor Roderick and his colleagues described how they analyzed data from 494,585 participants in the UK Biobank, a project designed to help identify genetic and environmental factors associated with specific conditions.

At the time of registration in the project, all participants were from 40 to 69 years old: 384,818 people stated that they drank coffee, and 109,767 participants did not use this drink.

The team studied participants’ livers for nearly 11 years, finding 3,600 cases of chronic liver disease, 301 deaths, and 1,839 cases of simple fatty liver disease.

On average, the probability of developing diseases such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatosis and cirrhosis, as well as an accumulation of fat in liver cells, in coffee drinkers is 20% lower. The probability of a fatal outcome among them falls by 49%, compared to those who do not consume coffee.

The study authors emphasize that all types of coffee, including decaffeinated, instant and ground, help protect against chronic liver disease, although ground preserves more properties than instant. 

They also add that the study results are significant given the increasing morbidity of these diseases around the world.

““However, it’s important that people improve their liver health not just by drinking coffee,” said Vanessa Hebditch, from British Liver Trust, “but by also cutting down on alcohol and keeping to a healthy weight by exercising and eating well.”

The results of the study were published in the journal BMC Public Health.

If you are a coffee lover, you may be interested to know that combining this drink with sweets can be harmful to your health.

Image Credit: Getty

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