Originally published April 12 2015
Drinking just one cup of coffee daily can slash liver cancer risk by 14%
by Amy Goodrich
(NaturalNews) Coffee, a sometimes controversial beverage which many of us start our day with, may not be as bad as some of us think.
While it is true that too much of this warming pick-me-up drink can disrupt sleep, raise heart rate and blood pressure, and mess up digestion, drinking just one cup of coffee a day may undo liver damage and reduce the risk of liver cancer by 14 percent, according to a new update published by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
The update is part of their ongoing Continuous Update Project to analyze global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival
Click here to read the report: WCRF.org.[PDF]
Their findings are based on the analysis of 34 scientific studies which include data from more than 8 million people, both men and women, with 24,500 actual cases of liver cancer.
Liver cancer is one of the most deadly types of cancer and is more commonly found in men. It can go unnoticed for quite a while, and when symptoms emerge, it is often too late. In 2012, the disease caused around 745,000 deaths worldwide. WCRF notes that many of these could be prevented if people keep a healthy weight and avoid alcohol.
Alcohol abuse is one of the major culprits of liver cancer. According to WCRF, drinking three or more alcoholic beverages on a daily basis dramatically increases the risk of liver cancer. So, if drinking at all, they recommend that men shouldn't drink more than two, and women not more than one, alcoholic beverages a day.
Amanda McLean, director of WCRF UK, said: "Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer. Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough to be more specific."
While analyzing their data, researchers at the WCRF stumbled upon the amazing fact that coffee may have a protective effect and reduce the damage done by regular alcohol consumption. Statistics show that as little as one cup a day already reduces the risk by an incredible 14 percent.
"Mechanisms that support a protective effect of coffee on liver cancer relate largely to studies in animals, although some human studies contribute to the evidence," the authors of the report wrote. "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."
And it seems that neutralizing the negative effect of alcohol on our liver is not the only thing coffee can do. Another common culprit associated with liver cancer are aflatoxins. These toxins are found in alcohol and many other common foods such as cereal, spices, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, chilies, black pepper, dried fruit and figs. It is a toxin produced by a mold found in food which is not properly stored, hence its appearance in food in warmer climates. The good news: Coffee can help reduce the damage here as well.
Even though these studies clearly link the protective effect of coffee to a reduced risk of liver cancer, researchers are still not sure about the how and why, and which compounds are involved. However, this report definitely demonstrates that there is an urgent need for more research and alcohol prevention.
One last note: If you are drinking coffee, it is best to drink it black. No milk or sugar, as these may be potential cancer-causers themselves.
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