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Coffee consumption may lower risk of liver cancer

October 28, 2013

Throughout the past few decades, camps have been divided on the health pros and cons of coffee. There is evidence that moderate coffee consumption offers considerable benefits to the body, while some health experts believe drinking too much can have drawbacks.

Results of a new study may put some of the argument to rest. Researchers from ​ the University of Milan in Italy found that caffeine consumption could lower the risk of a common form of liver cancer by about 40 percent, according to findings published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The study team looked back at trials conducted between 1996 and 2012. By analyzing the studies, which involved more than 3,150 people, researchers uncovered a potential relationship between drinking coffee and hepatocellular carcinoma - a common form of liver cancer. While the results are intriguing, experts are not quite sure why the relationship exists. Some speculate that it could lower the chance of other contributing risk factors. 

"Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly the liver," said study author Dr. Carlo La Vecchia. "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."

This is just the latest batch of research to suggest that moderate coffee consumption may be part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors. A 2012 study, for instance, found that drinking one or two cups of coffee a day could lower one's risk of heart failure. This should come as good news to many seniors. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, approximately 54 percent of adults drink coffee on daily basis.