Coffee reduces alcohol-related cancer risk

A study has found “strong evidence” to suggest that coffee can help reduce the risk of liver cancer in people who drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day.

A total of 8.1 million men and women, 24,600 cases of liver cancer and 34 studies from across the world were analyzed as part of a study carried out by the World Cancer Research Fund.

It revealed “strong evidence that consuming approximately three or more alcoholic drinks a day is a cause of liver cancer”.

But also said there was “strong evidence” that coffee was capable of counteracting this risk, reducing the risk of developing liver cancer in people who consumed at three or more alcoholic beverages.

It’s thought that compounds in coffee kick-start the body’s defences and can reduce inflammation, prevent damage to DNA, increase the capacity for DNA to repair itself and improve sensitivity to insulin, which protects against typ-2 diabetes and extreme weight gain.

Ricardo Uauy, professor of public health nutrition at the University of Chile and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a member of the independent panel of scientists that reviewed the research, said was a “significant finding” that he hopes will help reduce the global number of cases of liver cancer.

“However, there are still many unanswered questions around the findings on coffee for us to give definitive advice on this”, he said. “For example we don’t know how many cups should be consumed and how regularly, what effect adding milk and/or sugar has, and whether the coffee drinking reported in the research was caffeinated or decaffeinated, instant or filtered.

“But it’s a future area of research World Cancer Research Fund International is interested in, especially as its report on womb (endometrial) cancer shows strong evidence that coffee consumption also reduces the risk of womb cancer.”

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