A review of caffeine by the European Food Safety Authority indicates that moderate coffee consumption, which is equivalent to about three to five cups of coffee a day, can reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver disease.
The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee recently released a roundtable report that indicates that regular coffee drinkers are 40% less likely to develop liver cancer.
The report of the round table indicates that in Europe, chronic liver disease is the fifth most common cause of death. Around 29 million people in the European Union currently suffer from chronic liver disease.
However, this number is likely to be even higher because the disease often shows no symptoms.
Chronic liver disease covers many different conditions that include hepatitis, cirrhosis, fibrosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatocellular cancer.
Judi Rhys, CEO, British Liver Trust said:
“Liver disease is a silent killer because often there are no symptoms until it’s too late. Coffee is easily accessible to everyone and drinking it regularly – filtered, instant or espresso – can make a difference by preventing and, in some cases, slowing the progression of liver disease. “
Risk factors for chronic liver disease include: obesity, alcohol abuse, and blood-borne viruses.
Professor Graeme Alexander, a professor at University College London and senior advisor to the British Liver Trust, said:
“Liver diseases are on the rise in Europe, and it’s important that we understand how coffee, one of the world’s most popular beverages and diet affect the disease. Research indicates that coffee can reduce the risk of liver disease and it is important for patients to have access to information and dietary advice from health professionals in a way that is easy to understand. “
The liver is a complex organ that plays an important role in the metabolic processes of our body. Damage or inflammation of the liver can increase liver enzyme levels.
Research data shows that coffee drinkers have significantly lower levels of gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and alanine transaminase (ALT) liver enzymes than those who do not drink coffee at all.
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Dr. Carlo La Vecchia, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology, suggested in the report that a number of components present in coffee could explain the effect, including caffeine, coffee oils, kahweol and cafestol and antioxidants.
Research indicates that in addition to the reduced risk of liver disease, coffee intake is also associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Dr. La Vecchia suggests that there is a potential link between coffee consumption which could be related to a reduction in insulin resistance.
This link could significantly improve outcomes for diabetes and liver health and needs further research, but for now, the results speak for themselves: coffee in moderation is actually good for our health.