I had just finished my first cup of coffee for today when I read this on Daily Mail. According to DM, drinking three cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of liver cancer substantially. The UK tabloid quoted a study from a group of Italian researchers as the main source.
Study author Dr Carlo La Vecchia of Universit`degli Studi di Milan, Italy, said ‘Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly the liver.’
Thus, drinking coffee helps reduce the most common type of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) up to 50%, which means that coffee addict like me is almost unlikely to suffer from liver cancer! 😀
What Is Cancer?
For those who are unaware, cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.
Liver cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world, and the third most common cause of cancer death.
HCC is the main type of liver cancer, accounting for more than 90 percent of cases worldwide. Studies show that chronic infections with hepatitis B and C viruses are the main causes of liver cancer; other relevant risk factors include alcohol, tobacco, obesity and diabetes.
Study of effect of coffee on liver cancer
For the above study of effect of coffee on liver cancer, Dr Vecchia and his team conducted a meta-analysis of articles published between 1996 and September 2012, involving 16 high-quality studies and a total of 3,153 cases.
It also included data on 900 more recent cases of HCC published since the last detailed research in 2007.
According to the Italian doctor:
The favorable effect of coffee on liver cancer might be mediated by coffee’s proven prevention of diabetes, a known risk factor for the disease, or for its beneficial effects on cirrhosis and liver enzymes.
Despite the consistency of results across studies, time periods and populations, it is difficult to establish whether the association between coffee drinking and HCC is causal, or if this relationship may be partially attributable to the fact that patients with liver and digestive diseases often voluntarily reduce their coffee intake.
Dr La Vecchia, whose research was published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, added:
It remains unclear whether coffee drinking has an additional role in liver cancer prevention. But, in any case, such a role would be limited as compared to what is achievable through the current measures.
In spite of what been written in the above article, I don’t think everyone should go overboard and increase their coffee intake. Remember my previous posting on ‘Coffee and Health‘? – moderation is the key to stability!
Plus, you don’t want to have other side effects such as overdosing of sleeping tablets because you can’t sleep due to drinking too much coffee to prevent cancer. 😉
Coffee Is Acidic
Plus, coffee is categorised as ‘acidic‘ so you’d better counter that factor by consuming as much alkaline food as possible or other troubles could crop up.
“A Starbucks tall,” says Robynne Chutkan, MD, “which is their version of a small, is like three cups of coffee.”
Some people tell me they drink two cups of coffee a day and that they get it at Starbucks. That’s like six cups a day. Chutkan is the founder of the Digestive Center for Women in Chevy Chase, Md. and a gastroenterologist at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C.