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Coffee to the rescue


So can coffee be good for you? Recently published research indicates that the beverage can protect against liver cirrhosis, a life threatening illness associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

The research, which is published in the Annals of Epidemiology, Volume 13, 2003, suggests that drinking three cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of fatal liver disease by an incredible 40 per cent. The findings follow on from previous studies that have also shown coffee to have liver-protecting properties.


The researchers studied over 50,000 adults who underwent screening for cardiovascular disease from 1977 to 1983. During the next 17 years, the total number of deaths from all causes in the studied group was 4,207.


Of these, 53 had been diagnosed with cirrhosis and of these 36 had alcoholic cirrhosis. The relative risk of liver cirrhosis as the major cause of death, when associated with an increase of two cups of coffee per day adjusted for sex, age, alcohol use and other major cardiovascular risk factors was 40 per cent less.


For alcoholic cirrhosis the results were identical. But scientists would of course be quick to point out that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol followed by numerous cups of coffee is hardly an advisable diet to follow.