According to new research beverages containing caffeine like coffee and soda may protect the liver from damage in people at high-risk for liver disease. The research indicates that people at high-risk for liver disease who drink more than two cups of coffee per-day may have increased protection against liver damage. Protection appeared to increase when the consumption of beverages containing caffeine increased, reports healthtalk.ca
The research (abstract 100766) showed an inverse correlation between coffee and caffeine consumption and liver injury, seen in around 8.7 per cent of this high-risk population, said the researchers.
Those who drank more than two cups of coffee per day were 44 per cent less likely to show evidence of liver damage compared to those who did not consume caffeinated drinks. The risk reduction seen with consumption of any caffeinated beverage was even higher, at 69 per cent.
Last year a Norwegian study found that drinking three cups of coffee daily may reduce the risk of mortality from liver cirrhosis, informs foodproductiondaily.com
According to forbes.com research presented at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in New Orleans, a researcher from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found people at high risk for liver problems can reduce their risk by drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
There have been other studies that have shown this effect from caffeine, said lead researcher Dr. James E. Everhart. However, why caffeine protects against liver disease is not known.
"Caffeine blocks one receptor found in the brain and liver. This may have immunological effects, but this is really speculative," he added.
In their study, Everhart and his colleague, Dr. Constance E. Ruhl from Social and Scientific Systems in Silver Spring, Md., collected data on 5,944 men and women who were at high risk for liver injury.