Coffee drinkers have a special place for coffee. They cannot imagine a day without this drink. It is one of the most popular brewed drinks around the world. Around one-third, the world’s population consumes this. It is consumed for its stimulating and refreshing effect.
Human society has been using coffee beans since the past 1200 years. It started from northeast Africa, later spread out to the Middle East and Europe. It is considered to be the second valuable consumer goods following oil throughout the world.
But, do you know coffee is not just a wake-up or energetic beverage. It is more than that. Various studies have evaluated the significant role of regular coffee intake in reducing the risk of developing various general health problems. Primary liver cancer is one of them.
It is the 6th most common type of cancer. The majorly occurring liver cancers include hepatocellular carcinoma (75%) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (12-15%). The condition can be more serious, when cancer spreads to the liver from other body parts, known as the secondary liver cancer.
In the former stage, cancer can be asymptomatic. However, in the latter advanced stage, else, when cancerous cells block major blood vessels (bile ducts) can be symptomatic. The chemotherapy, radiation therapy and liver transplant are the treatment options that used to treat this deadly cancer.
Coffee can consider a liver friendly drink. It is significantly associated with lowering liver associated problems, including cancer.
Let’s read in little deep about this magical drink:
- Types of coffees
- Phytoconstituents of coffee
- Health benefits of coffee
- Anticancer effects of coffee
- How much coffee should consume?
Types of coffees
People love to intake this drink in various forms. For instance:
- French press
The beans used can also be of various types, like arabica beans, robusta beans, liberica beans and excelsa beans. Out of all these, arabica beans account for 60% of the world’s coffee expenditure.
The quality of these beans are top-level. However, the amount of caffeine is higher in robusta as compared to arabica. This is the reason for espresso, robusta beans are always in demand.
Phytoconstituents of coffee
The health benefits of this drink are due to the phytoconstituents present in these. The quantities of these can be varied as per its beans types.
It is a complex mix of various chemicals. Caffeine is the main phytochemical. The content of caffeine can be varied in a home-prepared coffee, from 30 mg to 175 mg in a cup.
Other than this, chlorogenic acid and water-soluble diterpenes (cafestol and kahweol) are the other pharmacologically active components present in it.
Health benefits of coffee
It is known to prevent numerous types of chronic health problems.
- It is associated with the reduced risk of liver damage among patients, who are at higher risk of getting cirrhosis, hepatic injury and cancer.
- Its long-term intake is known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- The risk of Alzheimer’s disease was found to be lower in coffee drinkers as compared to non-coffee drinkers.
- The risk of Parkinson’s disease in both women (who never used postmenopausal estrogen) and men also reduces with its consumption.
- It is also known to enhance endurance performance in long period physical activities.
Anticancer effects of coffee
It has been evaluated, the persons who consumed more coffee had lower risk of liver cancer and liver diseases.
It has been seen that the persons who consumed this >2 cups per day showed 50% reduction in risk of liver cancer. Also, the risk of liver diseases reduced up to 90% for persons who consumed >4 cups per day.
Let’s see in detail why coffee is so beneficial for liver:
- It has been noticed in the results of various cross-sectional studies that coffee was found to have an inverse relationship with enzymes alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and gamma-glutamyltransferase. These are the enzymes that lead to liver injury.
- The Chlorogenic acid found in coffee shows prominent anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and antioxidant actions.
- The diterpenes found in the beans prompt phase II enzyme activity and reduce chemically influenced liver DNA adducts.
- Coffee also known to regulate glucose and insulin signalling. That is the reason this drink reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Now, it has been noticed that diabetes has often been related with greater risk of liver cancer. Therefore, coffee could apparently benefit the liver via improving glucose tolerance, regulating insulin secretion and other associated metabolic pathways.
How much coffee should consume?
According to the FDA, healthy adults can have 400 milligrams of caffeine a day i.e. four to five cups a day.
However, exceptions are always there. How much a person can have caffeine in a day depends upon their sensitivity towards caffeine and its metabolism in the body.
It has been noticed 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day is healthy and not associated with side effects.
Also, the pregnant and feeding women should not exceed their intake by 300mg/day.
It can be seen that high coffee consumption is related with a statistically significant lowered risk of liver cancer and mortality associated with chronic liver disease.
However, its preparation methods can impact the amount of compounds found in it. For instance, the levels of diterpenes found to be higher in Turkish and Scandinavian-styled boiled types as compared to instant form. But, it is observed that both boiled and filtered are inversely related with liver cancer.
The positive liver cancer and coffee association can’t be denied. Although, further analyses are still required to evaluate what components present in it may benefit these associations.