Overview

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  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found evidence that coffee drinking may actually help reduce occurrence of certain cancers, including liver cancer.
  • The results of the prospective cohort studies, in particular, are indicative of a dose-response relationship. Two extra cups of coffee per day are associated with a 43% reduced risk of liver cancer, amongst populations who typically consume anything from 1 to over 5 cups per
  • Research in patients with advanced hepatitis C-related liver disease also suggests that regular, moderate coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of disease progression.
  • It is not yet clear whether, and to what extent, caffeine is implicated in the inverse association between coffee consumption and these liver diseases. Several possible mechanisms are under investigation:
    • The main primary caffeine metabolite, paraxanthine, appears to suppress the synthesis of CTGF (connective tissue growth factor) via a cascade of control cycles, which subsequently slows down the progression of liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
    • Other alternative mechanisms are related to the anti-carcinogenic effects of cafestol and kahweol, and possible antiviral effects of chlorogenic acids and caffeic acid.

The content in this Topic Overview was last edited in July 2016. Papers in the Latest Research section and further resources are added regularly.

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