In the past, coffee consumption has been linked to health benefits such as a decreased risk of type-2 diabetes, reduced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
Recent studies now show that coffee consumption is also linked to a significant reduction in the symptoms of liver disease and the risk of developing liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Chronic Liver Disease
Chronic liver disease affects about 15% of the U.S. population. Liver disease includes conditions like alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cirrhosis of the liver, and infections such as hepatitis, as well as liver cancer.
The Study on Coffee and Your Liver
It is not clear exactly how coffee consumption reduces the risk of liver cancer, as there are more than 1,000 compounds in coffee that impact health, but there definitely seems to be a significant correlation. In fact, those who consumed 2-3 cups per day showed a 38% reduction in the risk of developing liver cancer while those who partook in 4 cups of coffee per day showed a decrease in the development of liver cancer by up to 40%.
The study also showed that other liver conditions were greatly improved as a result of daily coffee consumption. Liver fibrosis was reduced in those with alcoholic liver disease, and enzyme levels in those with other liver conditions were improved significantly in coffee drinkers. Coffee consumption has also been associated with a lower risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and reduced fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a more serious condition resulting from long-term NAFLD.
If you have a liver condition, you may want to speak with your physician about exactly how much coffee is safe, and effective, for you to consume in order to reduce your risk of liver cancer and minimize the symptoms of other liver conditions. The good news is that evidence certainly seems to suggest that you can enjoy that morning cup of coffee and the health benefits it brings.