Drinking coffee could reduce the chances of liver disease and death out of it, a study published in the journal BMC Public Health found, reports The Guardian. Prof Paul Roderick, University of Southampton, a co-author of the study, said that their research confirms the properties of coffee in a large UK cohort.
For the study, Roderick and his team analysed data from 4,94,585 people in the UK Biobank. The subjects were aged 40 to 69 when they signed for the project. 3,84,818 out of them were coffee drinkers, and 1,09,767 did not consume it. The team analysed their liver health over a median period of almost 11 years and found 3,600 cases of chronic liver disease, 301 deaths and 1839 cases of fatty liver disease.
The analysis inferred that after considering factors such as body mass index, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits, those who drank more amount of coffee had a 20% lower risk of developing chronic liver disease or fatty liver disease than those who do not drink it. Also, 49% lower risk of dying out of the same.
The chances decrease for those who drink the brew up to three to four cups a day. The reduction of risk was found separately on the instant, decaffeinated and ground coffee which gave evidence that the latter reduced risk the best.
The new study supports previous studies that suggested coffee could reduce liver cancer and alcohol-related liver disease. But it has limitations, according to Roderick, and he said that drinking coffee could be one among those that could reduce liver disease. He added that it could be an effective intervention to minimise the risk of liver disease, but there are other ingredients too beneficial for liver health.
Vanessa Hedditch of British Liver trust said that the research added to previous evidence that coffee is good for liver health. But she said that drinking coffee is not enough, but keeping a healthy weight and diet, cutting alcohol, and good exercise is also needed.
Chronic liver disease is a major health problem globally. As per the British Liver Trust, liver disease is the third largest cause of premature death in the UK, where death related to liver disease rose to 400% since 1970.