Study says coffee helps prevent cirrhosis amoung heavy boozers
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
June 13, 2006
People who drink large amounts of alcohol and also drink large
amounts of coffee may be less susceptible to developing cirrhosis
of the liver, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente researchers
The researchers followed more than 125,000 Kaiser members who
underwent a medical exam between 1978 and 1985. By the end of
2001, 199 participants had been diagnosed with cirrhosis. The
Oakland-based researchers found that those who drank more coffee
were less likely to develop the deadly malady.
"Consuming coffee seems to have some protective benefits
against alcoholic cirrhosis, and the more coffee a person consumes
the less risk they seem to have of being hospitalized or dying
of alcoholic cirrhosis,'' study lead author Dr. Arthur Klatsky
said. "We did not see a similar protective association between
coffee and non-alcoholic cirrhosis.''
Klatsky cautions that the study is not meant to provide alcohol
abusers with a way to mitigate the effects of their abuse.
"This is not a recommendation to drink coffee. Nor is it
a recommendation that the way to deal with heavy alcohol consumption
is to drink more coffee. The value of this study is that it may
offer us some clues as to the biochemical processes taking place
inside liver cells that could help in finding new ways to protect
the liver against injury,'' Klatsky said.
The study found that people drinking one cup of coffee or more
each day were, on average, 20 percent less likely to develop alcoholic
cirrhosis. The percentages increased with the amount of coffee
Those drinking two or three cups were 40 percent less likely
to develop the condition and those drinking four or more cups
were 80 percent less likely, according to Klatsky.
"Even allowing for statistical variation, this shows there
is a clear association between coffee consumption, and protection
against alcoholic cirrhosis,'' Klatsky said.
The study is in the current issue of the Archives of Internal
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