Coffee fans, go ahead and fire up that kettle or that Keurig and prepare some celebratory swings. A new report says that coffee consumption reduces the risk of chronic liver disease.
According the roundtable report from the Institute for Scientfic Information on Coffee, people who were regular coffee drinkers — that is, drank between three and five cups of coffee a day — cut their risk of developing liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer by up to 70 percent.
The roundtable, held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, included academics, media medics and representatives from national liver associations from across Europe. They discussed recent research connecting coffee drinking and liver health and how to best disseminate the findings to healthcare professionals and the public.
Chronic liver disease is one of the most common disease-related deaths in the United States today. An estimated 31,000 liver-related deaths occur every year. About one in 10 — or some 30 million Americans — live with chronic liver diseases. The number continues to rise primarily do to Western diets including excess alcohol and fatty foods.
In the European Union, an estimated 29 million people suffer from live disease — the fifth most common cause of death.
“Liver disease is on the rise across Europe and it is important that we understand how coffee, one of the most popular drinks in the world, and diet affects the disease,” Graeme Alexander, a professor at University College London and senior advisor at the British Lover Trust, said in a statement.
It’s not yet clear what effect coffee has on reducing liver diseases, but data shows that coffee drinkers show lower levels of liver enzymes gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alanine transaminase (ALT) than their non-coffee drinking peers.
“Liver diseases is a silent killer as often there are no symptoms until it’s too late.” Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said a statement. “Coffee is something that is easily accessible to everyone and regularly drinking it — filtered, instant or espresso — may make a difference in preventing and, in some cases, slowing down the progression of liver disease.”
“It’s an easy choice to make.”