Drinking coffee regularly can help prevent liver cancer, according to a new study.
The study reports people who consumed coffee regularly had 40 percent reduced risk of developing the most common type of primary liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), than others.
The findings are based on an initiative taken by a team of Italian researchers. They analysed 16 high quality studies and another 3,153 cases that discussed the link between coffee consumption and liver cancer. All the studies were published between 1996 and 2012.
Researchers found that taking three cups of coffee daily lowered the risk of developing liver cancer by half.
"Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly the liver," author of the study, Carlo La Vecchia from the Università degli Studi di Milan in Italy, said in a news release. "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."
The study has been published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Hepatocellular (meaning liver cells) carcinoma is a deadly type of cancer found among people aged 50 years or above. Men are at higher risk of developing liver cancer than women. It starts from the hepatocytes or the main liver cells. Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver combined with poor function of the liver) is one of the major causes of the cancer. Hepatitis B or C virus infection, alcohol abuse, chronic inflammation of the liver, hemochromatosis (iron overload in the body) are some of the major factors that play major role in cirrhosis. It is difficult to diagnose this condition early.
If left untreated, the cancer can claim life between three and six months.
Following are some tips provided by health experts that help prevent the deadly disease:
- Take hepatitis B vaccination at childhood
- Do not consume too much of alcohol