Drinking Coffee Can Reduce Risk Of Liver Cancer
October 22, 2013

Drinking Coffee Can Reduce Risk Of Liver Cancer

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

A new study published in the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association found drinking coffee could reduce the risk of the most common type of liver cancer.

Researchers found coffee consumption could reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by about 40 percent. Some of the data indicates drinking three cups of coffee per day reduced liver cancer risk by more than 50 percent.

"Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly the liver," Carlo La Vecchia, MD, study author from the department of epidemiology, said in a press 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."

Scientists analyzed articles published from 1996 through September 2012. They studied 16 high-quality studies and a total of 3,153 cases. The research fills an important gap, as the last meta-analysis was published in 2007, and since then there have been more than 900 cases of HCC.

The researchers said it is difficult to establish whether the association between coffee drinking and HCC is causal, or if the relationship may be partially attributable to the fact that patients with liver and digestive diseases often voluntarily reduce their coffee intake.

"It remains unclear whether coffee drinking has an additional role in liver cancer prevention," Dr. La Vecchia said in the release. "But, in any case, such a role would be limited as compared to what is achievable through the current measures."

Scientists know liver cancers can be largely avoidable through hepatitis B virus vaccination, control of hepatitis C virus transmission and reduction of alcohol drinking. These three conditions could avoid more than 90 percent of liver cancer around the world.

Patients who exhibit symptoms of liver cancer experience fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, loss of appetite, menstrual abnormalities or impotence. In later stages of cancer, yellow skin may occur, which is caused by the buildup of bio pigment that is normally passed by the liver into the intestines.

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 and it accounts for more than 90 percent of cases around the globe.