Reuters Health Information (2007-06-05): Coffee consumption associated with reduced liver cancer risk
Coffee consumption associated with reduced liver cancer risk
Last Updated: 2007-06-05 9:22:18 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Increased coffee intake appears to lower the risk of developing liver cancer, according to findings published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.
"Data on potential beneficial effects of coffee on liver function and liver diseases have accrued over the last 2 decades," Drs. Susanna C. Larsson and Alicja Wolk, from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, write. "Several epidemiological studies have reported inverse associations of coffee drinking with levels of liver enzymes, including gamma-glutamyltransferase (an indicator of cirrhosis risk) and alanine aminotransferase (a marker of liver injury), as well as with risk of chronic liver disease and liver cirrhosis."
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies to quantitatively assess the association between coffee consumption and the risk of liver cancer. A total of four cohort and five case-control studies were included in the meta-analysis, involving 2260 cases and 239,146 non-cases.
An inverse association between coffee consumption and liver cancer risk was observed in all of the studies. The association was significant in six of the studies.
The investigators note that for an increment of 2 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 43% reduced risk of liver cancer (i.e., relative risk = 0.57).
"A protective effect of coffee consumption on liver cancer is biologically plausible," the Drs. Larsson and Wolk point out. "Coffee contains large amounts of antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acids, and experimental studies in animals have demonstrated an inhibitory effect of coffee and chlorogenic acids on liver carcinogenesis."