Liver Cancer Risk May be Lowered by Drinking Coffee

Researchers from Italy have found that drinking coffee can lower an individual’s risk of liver cancer by about 40%. Some of the results indicate that if you consume three cups a day, the risks can be cut by over 50%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that liver cancer is the ninth leading cause of cancer deaths in the US and the third leading cause of death from cancer in the world. The most common form of liver cancer is Hepatocellular carcinoma and men are approximately three times more likely to develop the disease compared to women.

For the study, investigators conducted a meta-analysis using data compiled from literature published between 1996 and 2012. From these sources, scientists picked 16 high-quality studies involving over 3,000 cases.

Although the results across studies, time periods and populations have returned consistent results, researchers cannot conclusively “prove” a cause and effect relationship between coffee consumption and liver cancer. This may be due to patients suffering liver or digestive diseases and often lower their coffee intake; this may be partially attributable to the relationship.

Lead study author Dr. Carlo La Vecchia, of Milan’s Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri explains,”It remains unclear whether coffee drinking has an additional role in liver cancer prevention. But, in any case, such a role would be limited as compared to what is achievable through the current measures.”

Coffee consumption has been found to lower the risk of diabetes, according to a report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows. And diabetes is a known risk factor for developing liver cancer and the National Cancer Institute cites it as the most common risk factor.

Dr. La Vecchia concludes,”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.”


Written by Elijah Lamond