For what seems like the majority of us, the idea of starting our day without a piping hot cup of coffee is as close to sacrilege as you could get. For many of us, this habit has been one that spans nearly our entire lifetimes and is one that is unlikely to change. Fortunately, new research is suggesting that we actually may be doing ourselves quite the favor by enjoying our morning cup of joe.
Drinking just one cup of coffee a day is linked to a reduced risk of the most common form of primary liver cancer according to new U.K. research — and that includes both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
Here is how the study played out: The University of Southampton along with researchers from the University of Edinburgh analyzed data from 26 observational studies involving more than 2.25 million participants. The team set out to look at the effect of drinking between one and five cups of caffeinated coffee a day on hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the second leading cause of death from cancer globally, due to its poor prognosis and high frequency, especially in China and Southeast Asia. The findings showed that drinking just one cup of coffee a day was associated with a 20 per cent reduction in the risk of developing HCC, two cups were associated with a 35 per cent reduction, and up to five cups with a 50 per cent reduction. Needless to say, those figures are pretty good for something you are likely already doing.
Lead author Dr. Oliver Kennedy noted that “We’re not suggesting that everyone should start drinking five cups of coffee a day though. There needs to be more investigation into the potential harms of high coffee-caffeine intake, and there is evidence it should be avoided in certain groups such as pregnant women.”
Professor Peter Hayes of the University of Edinburgh, said, “We have shown that coffee reduces cirrhosis and also liver cancer in a dose-dependent manner. Coffee has also been reported to reduce the risk of death from many other causes. Our research adds to the evidence that, in moderation, coffee can be a wonderful natural medicine.”
Kennedy also added, “Our findings are an important development given the increasing evidence of HCC globally and its poor prognosis.”
This isn’t the first time, however, that the benefits of coffee have been promoted. Increased coffee consumption has already been shown to protect against serious non-cancer chronic liver disease (cirrhosis), possibly due to the compound molecules in coffee possessing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and other beneficial properties.