Caffeine certainly has received some bad press in the past, with heavy consumption of coffee being linked to nasty side-effects such as insomnia, jitteriness, stomach upsets and anxiety.
We’re often advised to cut down on, or steer clear of coffee by health experts, but now some interesting findings have emerged about the benefits of coffee consumption. This news will warm the hearts of coffee lovers everywhere!
According to a new study, coffee consumption could reduce your risk of liver cancer. Apparently, one cup of coffee every day can lower your risk by 20 per cent, and two cups can lower it by 35 per cent.
And the best bit? It has to be “real” coffee - decaffeinated options don’t have quite the same effect.
The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal Open, was carried out by research teams at Southampton and Edinburgh University, and involved examining data from over two million participants.
The results made for interesting reading. Participants who drank one cup of coffee daily had a 20 per cent lower chance of developing the most common form of primary liver cancer compared to those who drank none.
Decaf coffee did have a slight effect, but researchers pointed out that it was “smaller and less certain than caffeinated coffee”. Unfortunately, however, researchers haven’t pinpointed why exactly caffeine may protect against liver cancer.
And before you start guzzling down five cups daily, they also urge caution.
Lead researcher Dr Oliver Kennedy, from the University of Southampton, said: “Coffee is widely believed to possess a range of health benefits, and these latest findings suggest it could have a significant effect on liver cancer risk.
“We're not suggesting that everyone should start drinking five cups of coffee a day, though. There needs to be more investigation into the potential harms of high caffeine intake, and there is evidence it should be avoided in certain groups such as pregnant women.”
They did, however, recommend that drinking coffee could be advantageous to those suffering from chronic liver disease (CLD).
The authors wrote: “It may be important for developing coffee as a lifestyle intervention in CLD, as decaffeinated coffee might be more acceptable to those who do not drink coffee or who limit their coffee consumption because of caffeine-related symptoms.”
If you have health concerns or questions about caffeine consumption always seek your GP’s advice first.