Coffee lovers take note. There's reason to celebrate because researchers have found that the tasty hot beverage you crave might help reduce the damage caused by alcohol that can lead to liver cancer.
According to research compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund, drinking three or more alcoholic drinks per day significantly increases a person's risk of being diagnosed with liver cancer. But regular coffee consumption can help to reduce the damage caused by this level of alcohol consumption. Researchers found that for each cup of coffee consumed per day, a person's risk of developing liver cancer declined by 14 percent.
Liver cancer is the second deadliest type of cancer around the world. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 35,000 new cases of liver cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and more than 24,500 Americans will die from the disease in 2015.
For the study, published in the WCRF's Liver Cancer Report, researchers looked at data from 34 studies that included health data from more than 8 million men and women and 24,600 cases of liver cancer. They found that drinking three or more alcoholic drinks per day significantly increased the risk for developing liver cancer, but that drinking coffee each day seemed to offset that effect.
Researchers weren't clear why coffee offered such a protective effect, but they think it might have something to do with coffee's ability to suppress inflammation.
"Both coffee and coffee extracts have also been shown to reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammation, and the effects appear to be most pronounced in the liver," the report concludes.
So coffee drinkers can add reduced liver cancer risk to the list of perks brought on by their morning java, such as reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. Sounds like a good reason to fill 'er up.
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