Drinking Coffee Reduces Liver Cancer Risk Caused By Alcohol
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Daily alcohol consumption can be damaging to the liver, but drinking coffee helps mitigate the chance for liver cancer, according to a new report.
The report, published by the London-based World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), analyzed 34 scientific studies consisting of data from over 8 million people and 24,600 cases of liver cancer. The WCRF discovered that drinking three or more alcoholic beverages a day significantly increased the chance of liver cancer, but also found that drinking coffee on a regular basis lowered it by nearly 14%.
Researchers said it was clear that coffee helped erase some of the damage caused by alcohol, but they do need to conduct more research before they can explain exactly why.
“Mechanisms that support a protective effect of coffee on liver cancer relate largely to studies in animals, although some human studies contribute to the evidence,” researchers wrote. “Both coffee and coffee extracts have also been shown to reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammation, and the effects appear to be most pronounced in the liver.”
Aflatoxins, a type of mold found in alcohol, are one of the main culprits for increasing the risk of liver cancer, and can also be found in a variety of other foods.
“Aflatoxins are produced by inadequate storage of food, and are generally an issue related to foods from warmer, developing regions of the world,” WCRF researchers explained in a summary of the report. “Foods that may be affected by aflatoxins include cereals, spices, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, chilies, black pepper, dried fruit and figs.”
While the link between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of liver cancer is evident, some are leery of recommending the stimulant due to its effect on other medical conditions.