Coffee Reduces Risks for Liver Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes

There’s more good news for coffee lovers who worry about their health. Two new reports highlight the health benefits of drinking coffee, which may be especially welcome after last summer’s news that young coffee drinkers have a greater risk of death from all causes. According to the latest reports – both of them reviews that include information gleaned from multiple studies – coffee drinkers who consume at least two cups of coffee a day are at lower risk for the most common form of liver cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Coffee and Liver Cancer Risk

A group of researchers at Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri" in Milan conducted an analysis of 16 published studies about the link between coffee and liver cancer. The studies were published between 1966 and 2012. The researchers found that people who drink any amount of coffee regularly have a 40% reduction in the risk of liver cancer. They suggest that the relationship might exist because people who have liver and digestive problems may limit their coffee intake, but there is other evidence that coffee helps protect the liver.

Type 2 Diabetes and Coffee

The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee published a new report on Thursday, November 14, 2013 – World Diabetes Day – highlighting the research around drinking coffee and type 2 diabetes. The important findings include:

  • People who drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day have a 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who drink no coffee or fewer than two cups daily.
  • Each additional daily cup of coffee appears to decrease the risk by an additional 7-8%.
  • In one study, the benefits were there with both decaffeinated and regular coffee.
  • Another study found that regular coffee is much more protective against diabetes in women than decaffeinated coffee, but not as protective for men.

The full report is definitely worth a read. It touches on questions of why coffee may help reduce diabetes risk, which types of coffee appear to be most beneficial and the best time to drink coffee (around lunchtime, according to a study conducted in France).

What’s particularly noticeable in the most recent studies about coffee and health is that scientists are starting to recognize that brewing methods may have an effect on the outcome of the research. It will be interesting to see where that knowledge leads the science.

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