Coffee May Help Reduce Your Risk for Liver Cancer

Did You Know…that coffee may help reduce your risk for liver cancer?

Liver cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, and one of the trickiest to diagnose.  Symptoms often remain hidden until it is too late.  In 2012, 745,000 people worldwide died from liver cancer, and many of these deaths could have been avoided.

Obesity and high alcohol consumption greatly increase one’s likelihood of developing liver cancer, but it appears that an everyday habit already enjoyed by many people around the world may help slash your liver cancer risk by as much as 14%.

How Coffee Can Help 

According to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), just 1 cup of coffee each day can cut your risk for liver cancer by 14%.  This update is part of an ongoing WCRF initiative called the Continuous Update Project, which analyzes global research on the effects diet, nutrition, physical activity, and weight have on cancer risk and survival.

This latest update was based on 34 scientific studies made up of approximately 8 million men and women, 24,500 of which had liver cancer.  Analysts discovered that coffee seems to exhibit a protective influence on some of the damage caused by high alcohol intake.  The authors of the study explain:

“Both coffee and coffee extracts have also been shown to reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammation, and the effects appear to be most pronounced in the liver.”

Coffee was also shown to neutralize aflatoxins, which are toxins that arise from molds in certain foods that are not properly stored.  These aflatoxins aren’t just found in alcohol, but also in cereal, spices, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, chilies, black pepper, and dried fruit and figs.  Coffee demonstrated a protective effect against all!

The WCRF also noted that drinking 3 or more glasses of alcohol a day greatly increases your risk of developing liver cancer.  They recommend that men drink no more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day, and women drink no more than 1.

How Much Is Too Much?

While this update is good news for coffee drinkers, those who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day still need to beware.  The Mayo Clinic sets safe coffee consumption at no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day.  Four or more cups of coffee ushers in a host of health problems, including…

  • Insomnia
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Stomach upset and disturbed digestion
  • Muscle tremors
  • Nervousness and restlessness
     These caffeine reactions can then cause a domino effect of health conditions throughout the body.  One way to resist going overboard on the coffee is to switch it up with some tea before you reach for your third cup.  That way you also get the antioxidant-rich benefits of tea in addition to the liver-protective properties in your cup of Joe!