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Coffee lovers have 50% less chance of developing most common type of liver cancer: Study

The UK-based study suggests that antioxidants and caffeine present in coffee is likely to cut risks of hepatocellular carcinoma by half.

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New Delhi: Coffee can do more than just wake you up. A new study has claimed that drinking coffee can cut the risk of developing one of the most common types of liver cancer by as much as 50 per cent.

Researchers from the UK-based Queen’s University Belfast had looked at how coffee — one of the most commonly consumed beverages worldwide — lowers the risks of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is one of the most common types of liver cancer.

The results of the study were presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference in Glasgow this week, and published in the British Journal of Cancer earlier this year.

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Antioxidants, caffeine in coffee

For the study, researchers had looked at coffee-drinking habits of 4,71,779 participants in the UK over a period of 7.5 years. And, more than three quarter of the participants reported drinking coffee.

“This is one of the first studies to investigate the risk of digestive cancers according to different types of coffee and we found that the risk of HCC was just as low in people who drank mostly instant coffee,” Una McMenamin, a researcher at Queen’s University Belfast, said in a statement.

“We need much more research to determine the possible biological reasons behind this association.”

The study also found that coffee drinkers were more likely to be older, male, from less deprived neighbourhoods and better educated. They were also more likely to be smokers, consume higher levels of alcohol, have more cholesterol and were less likely to have chronic conditions such as diabetes, cirrhosis, gallstones and peptic ulcers compared to those who did not drink coffee.

“People with a coffee-drinking habit could find keeping that habit going is good for their health. That is because coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine, which may protect against cancer,” Kim Tu Tran, a postgraduate research student at the Queen’s University Belfast and who is also part of the team of researchers, said in a statement.

Tran, however, added that drinking coffee is not “as protective against liver cancer as stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol or losing weight”.

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