Check out this latest guest post by Greg Haver of coffeeorbust.com. Greg dives into the latest research on how coffee reduces liver cancer risk. Once you’re done with this post check out the other great content on coffeeorbust.com.
While I usually tout moderation pretty ardently, this is the one time science has literally proven that taking in an enormous amount of one substance can be super healthy for you. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not alcohol.
And tea drinkers can choke on the smoke from coffee roasters, because drinking a mug of java has a benefit that it can’t compete with: coffee greatly reduces the risk of liver cancer.
Yes, on top of doing a world of good against cirrhosis, reducing the risk for type II diabetes, and the whole host of antioxidant benefits, coffee fights cancer.
Who Says So?
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton in the UK somehow interacted with 2.25 million people across 26 observational studies. If that doesn’t offer enough credo for you, you’re forever going to be dissatisfied with life, friend.
These studies were global, too, so it meshed together findings from the US, Japan, Europe, Hong Kong, and Singapore. There were eight case-control groups, too, but they do notate that the caffeine content wasn’t regulated at all. While the average mug of joe has 95 mg, the study didn’t account for the multiple ways we consume java across different cultures.
They did, however, find that coffee’s benefits are pervasive — they apply whether you’re a smoker, with or without the presence of alcohol, have type II diabetes mellitus, have a high mass body index, or have hepatitis B or C.
Why Do I Care?
You are clearly not hearing me! Coffee can significantly reduce the risk of cancer! There are more numbers and cool things to go along with that, and I’m getting to it, but just read those words a few times.
We, a group of intelligent beings, are struggling to find ways to prevent cancer other than yearly screenings to catch it at early stages. Coffee, that stuff you mindlessly pour into a mug every morning, then again at 2pm to mitigate the mid-afternoon drowsiness, is dominating the game.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer, and it often develops from those stricken with chronic liver disease.
Liver cancer often has a poor prognosis, which largely is what makes it the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. In the US, 40,710 adults will be diagnosed with liver cancer this year alone, while men are three times more likely than women to develop it. The general 5-year survival rate is at a despairingly low 18%.
I’m not trying to make it as depressing as a high school poetry club reading in here, but I’m just trying to emphasize how damn impressive it is that coffee’s able to hold this hellish cancer at bay.
Okay, I Care. What Now?
Drinking one cup of coffee per day reduces your risk by 20%. Two knocks that number up to 35%, and drinking five cups of this magical bean juice reduces your risk for liver cancer by a whopping 50%.
They also measured those who drank decaffeinated coffee and found that it decreased the risk of liver cancer, but not as drastically as the caffeinated version, so everything is right with the world.
There wasn’t any documentation for consumption of more than five cups, but, well, to be honest, we all know over five cups of coffee per day and you evolve into a superhuman being impervious to any and all ailments.
What’s even cooler is that this study also showed that the decrease in risk is available to even those jumping on the coffee bandwagon later in life! You don’t have to have been endlessly consuming it for 10 years (*cough* me *cough*) to reap the benefits. March your butt to the nearest coffee shop and take a sip knowing that you’ve immediately reduced your risk like the total boss of your life you are.
You don’t even need to prepare it in any special way—boil it, brew it, filter it, whatever your cute little heart desires. As long as it makes its way from the mug to your gut, you can take pride in the fact that you’re doing your body good.
Disclaimer and Conclusion
Drinking coffee isn’t for everyone, and drinking five cups of the stuff every day really isn’t for everyone. The researchers didn’t measure whether or not imbibing that much caffeine outweighs the benefits of reducing liver cancer.
Read your body, search your soul, and do what’s right for you. If you want to drink a cup or two and bask in the benefits like reducing the risk of liver cancer, totally do it! If you’ve long since hopped on the caffeinated train like yours truly, you just keep doing your thing.
About Greg Haver
A ten-year veteran of the coffee business, Greg Haver is the creator and editor of Coffee or Bust, a blog for coffee lovers. With an audience ranging from aspiring home baristas to coffee-making veterans, Coffee or Bust provides in-depth equipment recommendations, brewing guides, and other information on coffee-related topics.