Contrary to what many believe about coffee, studies show that those who enjoy drinking java have a reason to. Not only does drinking coffee perk someone up in the early mornings due to its caffeine content, but researchers have found that it is actually good for you.
A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has discovered that the more cups of coffee a person drinks, the lower their risk of getting the most common kind of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The cancer is more often seen in men than in women, and usually seen in those older than the age of 50. Symptoms include pain, tenderness or enlarged abdomen, easy bruising or bleeding, and jaundice, which is a condition that makes the skin or eyes yellow.
The study, which was led by V. Wendy Setiawan, followed 180,000 people for up to 18 years. All participants came from various ethnic backgrounds. The results found almost 500 of those involved in the study developed HCC. Those who drank at least one to three cups of java a day had a nearly 30 percent drop in the chance of developing the liver cancer. Those who drank four or more cups of coffee saw their risk go down by over 40 percent.
Researchers conducting the study also looked at things such as body mass index of their participants and ethnicity. They soon found that those factors did not affect the link between coffee consumption and liver cancer.
“These results show,” Setiawan has said in a statement of the study, “That coffee is good for you and that HCC can now be added to the list of the other medical illnesses that coffee may be able to prevent, like Parkinson’s disease and stroke. People who are at a high risk of developing HCC should be drinking coffee daily.”
The assistant professor of preventative medicine had presented the results of her team’s findings at a meeting held in San Diego, California by the American Association for Cancer Research. They had decided to conduct the study on coffee and HCC after studies from other countries found that drinking coffee could actually reduce the risk of developing HCC.
Setiawan mentioned her team did not understand why coffee seemed to protect the liver but would investigate if there were any connections between coffee and chronic liver illnesses.
There have been multiple other studies that have caused researchers to conclude that coffee is good for you. Other study results include the idea that coffee may reduce and prevent the risk of getting liver cancer, it may protect against the risk of type 2 diabetes, help control the shaking in sufferers of Parkinson’s disease, help prevent prostate cancer and it may also be good for the heart.
Studies have also shown coffee to have some negative side effects. While coffee is generally found to be good for you, a study conducted at the University of Oklahoma discovered that caffeine, the key ingredient in coffee, can cause symptoms of anxiety in those considered to be normal. Researchers from the University of Nevada School of Medicine also found that coffee could potentially reduce a woman’s ability to become pregnant.
By Jessica Cooley