A new study has stated that increasing coffee consumption may substantially reduce the risk of cirrhosis.
Liver cirrhosis is a significant burden on global health. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of deaths worldwide from cirrhosis increased from around 676 000 to over one million.
Cirrhosis is also an important cause of disability and morbidity, and in 2010, it was responsible for 31 million disability-adjusted life years. Although the absolute number of deaths from cirrhosis has increased, the global age-adjusted mortality rate decreased by 22% between 1980 and 2010. Trends in mortality rates vary markedly between countries, however, due to varying exposure to risk factors and the availability of vaccinations and treatments.
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is the 11th cause of death in the US, killing nearly 32,000 people in 2010. Researchers had suggested that drinking two or more cups of coffee every day can reduce the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%.
Dr. Woon-Puay Koh, from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and the National University of Singapore, had stated that, Participants in the study who drank two or more cups of coffee each day had a mortality risk that was 66% lower than that of non-daily coffee drinkers and drinking coffee was not linked with viral hepatitis B related cirrhosis mortality, however.
In some countries, such as India and the UK, mortality rates are increasing. The risk factors and aetiologies of cirrhosis are diverse, but those traditionally considered as important include alcohol-related liver disease and chronic viral hepatitis. More recently, and as a result of increases in obesity and diabetes mellitus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has also emerged as a significant aetiological factor.
Researchers analyzed studies published until July 2015 that reported odds ratios, relative risks (RR) or hazard ratios for cirrhosis stratified by coffee consumption. They calculated RRs of cirrhosis for an increase in daily coffee consumption of two cups for each study and overall. Analyses by study design, type of cirrhosis and mortality was made and the risk of bias in each study and the overall quality of evidence for the effect of coffee on cirrhosis was calculated.
Dr. Oliver Kennedy, who conducted the research as part of a team at Southampton University in the United Kingdom, told CNN the team combined the data of these existing studies to calculate a more precise relationship between coffee and the risk of cirrhosis.
Irrespective of aetiology, cirrhosis develops by a common mechanistic pathway involving chronic inflammation of the liver, followed by fibrosis, leading to end-stage liver disease (cirrhosis), which can be fatal either due to complications related to portal hypertension or to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Coffee is ubiquitous in most societies. Coffee comprises over a thousand compounds, many of which are biologically active and may affect human health. These include caffeine, chlorogenic acid, melanoids and the pentacyclic diterpenes, kahweol and cafestol.
Gary Fagan, president of the Canadian Liver Foundation, a health charity that supports education and research in liver disease, explains, Numerous scientific studies support the many benefits of coffee consumption in moderation, including for liver health, and the list is growing. In fact, research shows that consuming up to 3 cups a day can reduce your risk of liver disease in many ways.
The biological effects of coffee include stimulation of the central nervous system, primarily by caffeine, the attenuation of oxidative stress and inflammation, and anti-carcinogenesis.
Due to its widespread consumption, coffee and its effects on health have been studied extensively. In the context of liver disease, coffee appears to confer a number of protective effects. Animal studies and human observational studies suggest that coffee consumption reduces the frequency of abnormal liver function tests, fibrosis, cirrhosis and HCC. In addition, a randomised-controlled trial (RCT) showed that patients with hepatitis C who drank more coffee had lower serum levels of liver enzymes. The aim of this meta-analysis was to summarise the evidence from studies on the effect of coffee on cirrhosis.
The findings were published Jan. 25 in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.