Consumption of café, with or without caffeine, ground -the most consumed variety in Spain- or instant, is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic liver diseases and related liver conditions, according to a study that publishes BMC Public Health.
Research from the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh (UK) suggests that profit peaks from three to four cups a day.
The authors studied data from the UK Biobank on 495,585 participants with known coffee consumption, who were followed for an average of 10.7 years. 78% (384,818) of the participants consumed ground or instant coffee, caffeinated or decaffeinated, while 22% (109,767) did not drink at all. During the study period, 3,600 cases of chronic liver disease occurred, including 301 deaths.
During the study, a total of 5,439 cases of chronic liver disease or steatosis (accumulation of fat in the liver also known as fatty liver disease) and 184 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.
Compared to non-coffee drinkers, coffee drinkers had a 21% lower risk of chronic liver disease, a 20% lower risk of fatty steatosis, and 49% lower risk of death from chronic liver disease.
The maximum benefit was seen in the group that drank ground coffee, which contains high levels of kahweol and cafestol, substances that have been shown to be beneficial against chronic liver disease in animals, notes the journal.
The Instant coffee, with low levels of kahweol and cafestol, was also associated with a reduction in risk of chronic liver disease. Although the risk reduction was less than that associated with coffee grounds, the finding may suggest that other ingredients, or potentially a combination of ingredients, may be beneficial.
The authors note that because coffee consumption was only reported when participants first enrolled in the study, the study does not account for any changes in the amount or type consumed over the 10-year study period.
How much coffee can we have
Isn’t it counterproductive to your health to drink as much coffee a day as the new study indicates? Research from the University of South Australia has set the limit: drinking six or more coffees a day can be harmful to health, increasing the risk of heart disease by up to 22 percent.
Investigating the association between long-term coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease, researchers Ang Zhou and Elina Hyppönen of the Australian Center for Precision Health say their research confirms that the excess caffeine it can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease.
This is the first time a maximum limit for the safe consumption of coffee according to its influence on cardiovascular health. “Coffee is the most widely consumed stimulant in the world – it wakes us up, boosts our energy, and helps us focus – but people always ask, ‘How much caffeine is too much?” Hyppönen says.
“Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you can feel nervous, irritable, or even nauseous– That’s because caffeine helps the body work faster and harder, but it’s also likely to suggest that the limit has been reached for now. We also know that the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with high blood pressure, a known consequence of excessive caffeine consumption, “he adds.