Add "reduces your risk of liver cancer" to the list of health benefits provided by your morning cups of coffee. While alcohol consumption and obesity increase liver cancer risk, drinking coffee reduces it, a new study claims.
Liver cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. But now it joins multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease as afflictions whose risk can be reduced by java consumption. Exactly why coffee helps isn't quite clear, researchers admit, but they say rates of cancer were 29 percent lower in coffee drinkers.
Meanwhile, although drinking alcohol increases your risk of liver cancer, the threat is dramatically higher for people who consume more than three drinks per day, the study found. And research reveals that more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases the risk of breast and esophageal cancer.
The study’s authors analyzed data from 34 different research initiatives that involved more than 8.2 million people around the globe. They found that increased body fat also raises liver cancer risk. Liver cancer is on the rise in the U.S., where 69 percent of Americans are currently overweight or obese, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say.
“This is the first time there’s been such a clear signal from a rigorous, systematic review on the links between obesity increasing risk of liver cancer and coffee decreasing risk,” said Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a news release.
Scientists from the World Cancer Research Fund International’s Continuous Update Project (CUP), in partnership with the American Institute for Cancer Research, completed the study, which looked at 24,500 cases of liver cancer. The researchers also found evidence that eating fish and engaging in exercise reduce liver cancer risk, but said that it was not conclusive.