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New study shows coffee consumption may reduce mortality risk from liver cirrhosis


April 4, 2014
By Canadian Vending

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April 4, 2014 – New research suggests that
consuming two or more cups of coffee each day may reduce the risk of death from
liver cirrhosis by 66 per cent, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral
hepatitis. Findings in the journal Hepatology show that tea, fruit juice, and soft
drink consumption are not linked to cirrhosis mortality risk.

April 4, 2014 – New research suggests that
consuming two or more cups of coffee each day may reduce the risk of death from
liver cirrhosis by 66 per cent, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral
hepatitis. Findings in the journal Hepatology show that tea, fruit juice, and soft
drink consumption are not linked to cirrhosis mortality risk. As with previous
studies, heavy alcohol use was correlated with an increased risk of death from
cirrhosis.

This study was funded by grants from the
U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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According to a press release, a 2004 report
from The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year 1.3 per cent
of total death worldwide is caused by liver cirrhosis. Previous research shows
that 29 million Europeans have chronic liver disease, with 17,000 deaths
annually attributed to cirrhosis. Further WHO reports state that liver
cirrhosis is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Prior evidence suggests that coffee may
reduce liver damage in patients with chronic liver disease,” said lead
researcher, Dr. Woon-Puay Koh of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and
the National University of Singapore, in the release. “Our study examined the
effects of consuming coffee, alcohol, black tea, green tea, and soft drinks on
risk of mortality from cirrhosis.”

This prospective population-based study,
known as The Singapore Chinese Health Study, recruited 63,275 Chinese subjects
between the ages of 45 and 74 living in Singapore. Participants provided
information on diet, lifestyle choices, and medical history during in-person
interviews conducted between 1993 and 1998. Patients were followed for an
average of nearly 15 years, during which time there were 14,928 deaths (24 per
cent); 114 of them died from liver cirrhosis. The mean age of death was 67
years.

Findings indicate that those who drank at
least 20 grams of alcohol daily had a greater risk of cirrhosis mortality
compared to non-drinker. In contrast, coffee intake was associated with a lower
risk of death from cirrhosis, specifically for non-viral hepatitis related
cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a chronic liver disease
related to the metabolic syndrome and more sedentary affluent lifestyle, likely
predominates among the non-viral hepatitis related cirrhosis group. Subjects
who drank two or more cups per day were concluded to have a 66 per cent
reduction in mortality risk, compared to non-daily coffee drinkers. However,
coffee intake was not associated with viral hepatitis B related cirrhosis
mortality.

“Our study is the first to demonstrate a
difference between the effects of coffee on non-viral and viral hepatitis
related cirrhosis mortality,” concluded Dr. Koh. “This finding resolves the
seemingly conflicting results on the effect of coffee in Western and
Asian-based studies of death from liver cirrhosis. Our finding suggests that
while the benefit of coffee may be less apparent in the Asian population where
chronic viral hepatitis B predominates currently, this is expected to change as
the incidence of non-viral hepatitis related cirrhosis is expected to increase
in these regions, accompanying the increasing affluence and westernizing
lifestyles amongst their younger populations."

This study is published in Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf
of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.