redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Regular coffee consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of the autoimmune liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), according to a study that will be presented by Mayo Clinic researchers at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida on Monday.
According to the Minnesota-based medical center, PSC is a disease of the bile ducts, which can result in inflammation and subsequent duct obstruction potentially resulting in cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and biliary cancer. For their study, they examined a group of American patients with PSC and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), as well as a control group of healthy patients suffering from neither condition.
Their results demonstrate that drinking coffee was associated with a reduced risk of PSC, but not a reduced risk of PBC — suggesting that the two conditions could be more different than originally believed. In addition, patients suffering from PSC were said to be less likely to avoid coffee than their healthier counterparts, with PSC patients spending almost 20 percent less time consuming the caffeinated beverage than the control group.
“While rare, PSC has extremely detrimental effects,” Dr. Craig Lammert, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a statement. “We are always looking for ways to mitigate risk, and our first-time finding points to a novel environmental effect that might also help us to determine the cause of this and other devastating autoimmune diseases.”
Dr. Lammert is scheduled to present findings from the research, which was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Liver Foundation, on May 20 at 10am. The study is entitled “Coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis but not primary biliary cirrhosis.”