A recent analysis on coffee possibly protecting against liver cancer has nudged its way into the headlines today, adding to the good news for coffee lovers.
Last month, AICR’s continuous update report on endometrial cancer found that coffee protected against this cancer. It was a modest reduction – 7 percent lower for that first cup of coffee. But it was the first time there was enough evidence for AICR to conclude that coffee reduced the risk of a cancer.
This latest study on coffee and liver cancer was published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Study researchers looked for all relevant human studies between 1966 and 2012, ending up with 16. Analyzed together, drinking any amount of coffee linked to a 40 percent lower risk of liver cancer compared to those who did not drink. Higher amounts linked to lower risk.
And compared to non-coffee drinkers, there was a 20 percent lower risk for that first daily cup.
The study did not separate out decaffeinated coffee. An accompanying editorial in that same issue says that previous studies found decaffeinated coffee did not show reduction in risk when compared with regular coffee. The editorial also points out that patients who do not already drink coffee should consider the benefits and risks before starting.
For liver cancer risk, AICR’s report and its update found that consuming alcohol increases the risk.
There are plenty of theories on why coffee may protect against cancer. It contains numerous phytochemicals that have shown cancer fighting properties in lab studies. It’s also one of the top sources of antioxidants for Americans.
For more about what’s in coffee and its cancer link, visit our Foods that Fight Cancer.
The study was funded by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro.