NUTRITION&FOOD Published February23, 2016 By Annie Dee

Can Coffee Can Lower Liver Damage Risk From Booze? Probably Not, Some Experts Say

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A large study has found that drinking coffee may reduce your risk of dying prematurely.
(Photo : Tim Boyle, Getty Images )

Coffee intake is negatively related to risk of cirrhosis. According to a new study, just by drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can already lower the risk of cirrhosis due to alcohol consumption by 44 percent.

The study analyzed nine other research projects that evaluated the link between coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis. This meta-analysis proved the protective properties that coffee has. Dr. Oliver Kennedy, the lead researcher, spoke with CNN and said the study just provided a more precise picture of what coffee can do on the risk of cirrhosis. For instance, a cup per day can lower cirrhosis risk by 22 percent andd 4 cups can lower it by 65 percent, Kennedy said.

He warned though that drinking a lot of coffee cannot counteract the all the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Moreover, the study is not without critics.

Dr. Hillel Tobias, a liver specialist, claimed that the findings are not unknown to the medical community. However, the findings are not widely accepted either. Liver specialists in particular claimed that the data used by the studies included in the meta-analysis are limited. 

"The physiological and biochemical basis has not been established and some experimental evidence is needed. Right now, many of these studies are based on historical information provided by patients," he told CNN earlier this week

Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist also cautioned against depending on coffee to lower liver damage risk. She claims it is not powerful enough to counteract lifestyle choices that can lead to cirrhosis.

For Kennedy's part however, he admits that more should be done to research the relationship between coffee intake and cirrhosis risk. Moreover, regardless of these limitations, the findings provided hope that coffee intake could counter the negative effects of alcoholism, particularly its effects on cirrhosis.

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