There have been many opposite and varied opinions about whether or not coffee has any valid health benefits. Most people who enjoy their morning cup of joe are happy to hear about the positive studies and just as unhappy when health professionals warn that caffeine may be harmful to their health. The truth is that this popular caffeinated beverage, which is enjoyed worldwide, can be beneficial if it’s not consumed in excess.

As the sixth most common cancer in the world, liver cancer is also responsible for a third of all cancer deaths. Chronic infections of hepatitis B and C virus as well as diabetes, obesity, tobacco and alcohol are the most common risk factors for developing HCC liver cancer. Since diabetes does present a risk for developing liver cancer, and coffee-drinking also reduces the risk of diabetes, it can be assumed that drinking the beverage may help reduce the risk of HCC liver cancer.

The most recent research concerning a connection between coffee consumption and a reduced incidence of liver cancer suggests that those who consume from one to three cups daily reduced their risk of contracting HCC liver cancer by 29 percent. The protection factor increased to 42 percent for participants who consumed between four to six cups per day. Apparently, there is no additional benefit for people who drink more than six cups a day, and there may be some negative effects if the increase in caffeine causes stress.

Although these most recent studies were not conducted in the United States, nearly 180,000 female and male participants from a diverse group of ethnicities were studied over an 18-year time period. The multi-ethnic participants included Caucasians, African Americans and Latino descendants, and the study tracked other lifestyle and dietary factors as well. The data collected from this extensive study showed the existence of a dose-response connection between lowered risk of HCC liver cancer and an increase in the consumption of coffee.

While people who suffer from certain health problems such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular issues should avoid beverages containing caffeine, there are many people who are able to take advantage of the health benefits of coffee. The list of ailments that may be prevented through the consumption of this flavorful beverage include stroke, Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. This list of medical conditions can now be expanded to include HCC liver cancer, so any individuals who are thought to be at risk for HCC should be encouraged to increase their consumption of this caffeinated beverage to reduce their risk of liver cancer.

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Amy Heydt
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