Drink coffee to reduce liver disease risk
Jun 14, 2006, 00:54

Drinking around four cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 80 percent, says a study though scientists warn that reducing alcohol intake was the only way to avoid liver damage.

Alcoholic cirrhosis is a disease involving scarring and deterioration of liver cells as a result of chronic alcohol abuse.

Arthur Klatsky at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California and other researchers looked at health records of patients who had undergone voluntary examinations between 1978 and 1985.

They studied 125,580 men and women over 20 years age and found a 22 percent reduced risk of developing alcoholic cirrhosis for each cup of coffee they drank per day.

They also found that drinking one cup of coffee a day was found to reduce the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by 30 percent, and one to three cups by 40 percent. The study appeared in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The researchers said they could not be absolutely sure whether or not caffeine was the key ingredient because tea drinking was not particularly popular among the study population.

But identifying the ingredient responsible could open the way for potential preventive treatment, they said.

'Even if coffee is protective, the primary approach to reduction of alcoholic cirrhosis is avoidance or cessation of heavy alcohol drinking,' Klatsky said.

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