Coffee and your health

New Study: Coffee Consumption may confer protection against liver fibrosis

A new peer-reviewed study addresses the topic of coffee consumption and the risk of liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis also called hepatic cirrhosis is defined by the medical community as chronic liver damage from a variety of causes leading to scarring and liver failure.

The study, “Systematic review with meta-analysis: coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis,” was conducted by Primary Care & Population Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK and MRC Centre for Inflammation, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Liver cirrhosis is a considerable burden on global health, causing over a million deaths per annum, disability and morbidity. Cirrhosis develops by a common mechanistic pathway involving chronic inflammation of the liver, followed by fibrosis, leading to end-stage liver disease (cirrhosis) which can be fatal. This meta-analysis sought to summarize evidence of what, if any, effect coffee would have on cirrhosis.

“Coffee comprises of over a thousand compounds including caffeine, chlorogenic acid melanoids, kahwel and cafstol. Due to its widespread consumption, coffee and its effects on health have been studied extensively. In the context of cirrhosis, coffee appears to confer a number of protective effects,” the report authors state.

Research Methods

The study followed the Prisma guideline. They searched for studies published before July 2015 that reported odd ratios, relative risks or hazard ratios for cirrhosis stratified by coffee consumption. The scholars calculated relative risks of cirrhosis for an increase in daily coffee consumption of two cups for each study and overall. They performed analysis by study design, type of cirrhosis and mortality; and also assessed the risk of bias in each study and the overall quality of evidence for the effect of coffee on cirrhosis.


“Coffee contains a range of biologically active ingredients beyond caffeine, including anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory agents, such as chlorogenic acid, kahweol and cafestol, and there is evidence that these may confer protection against liver fibrosis. The protective effect of coffee against cirrhosis may also involve indirect mechanisms that modify risk factors,” the authors state.

Here’s the good news: this meta-analysis suggests that an increase in daily coffee consumption may substantially reduce the risk of cirrhosis.

Read the full report here.

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