Seventy-eight percent drank ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee, and 22% drank no coffee.
During the study period, 3,600 people developed chronic liver disease and 301 died.
More than 5,400 participants developed chronic liver disease, or fatty buildup in the liver known as . fatty liver disease, and more than 180 sophisticated Liver Cancer.
Compared to non-coffee drinkers, those who drink coffee had a 21% lower risk of developing chronic liver disease and 20% lower risk of developing chronic or fatty liver disease. The researchers found that the risk of death from chronic liver disease was reduced by 49%.
The greatest benefit is noted among fans of ground coffee, which contains high levels of alpha and kafistol, which are natural chemical compounds from coffee beans. Both have been shown to protect against chronic liver disease in animals. However, the researchers said that instant coffee, which contains low levels of alcohol and cafestol, also reduced the risk of chronic liver disease, which means there may be a complex relationship between the different components in coffee.
Several studies have found coffee to be good for the liver, said Dr. David Bernstein, MD, director of the Sandra Atlas Bass Liver Disease Center at Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York.
“But this is the first study to show that the effect was observed in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated coffee drinkers and that ground coffee offers a greater benefit than instant coffee,” he said.
The British authors note that coffee is readily available and that these findings suggest that it may be a potential preventative treatment for chronic liver disease.
“I agree,” Bernstein said. “While this study has some limitations, its findings are important, and while more study is needed on coffee as a liver protective agent, it may be time for clinicians to consider recommending its use in patients at risk for chronic liver disease.”
The results were published online June 21 in the journal BMC Public HealthThe tenth.
To learn more about coffee and health, see What Harvard university offers.
SOURCES: Paul Rodrik, MBBS, MD, Professor of Public Health, University of Southampton, UK; David Bernstein, MD, chief of hepatology and director of the Sandra Atlas Bass Hepatology Center, Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY; Public Health BMCJune 21, 2021, online