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Drink Coffee and Lose Weight to Cut Risk of Liver Cancer

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coffee health benefits For the first time, a review of global research finds that drinking coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer. Just a cup a day can lower your risk by about 14 percent.

The new paper suggests that both coffee and coffee extracts reduce the expression of genes involved in inflammation. And the effects appear to be most pronounced in the liver. It may also act on liver enzymes that eliminate carcinogens.

This is an important finding, since liver cancer is on the rise here in the U.S.

The analysis was published in the World Cancer Research Fund International’s Continuous Update Project (CUP) report entitled Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Liver Cancer. It includes 34 studies involving over 8.2 million people and over 24,500 cases of liver cancer.

However, coffee drinking isn’t the only topic discussed in the report. It also addresses the effects of diet, physical activity and weight on the risk of developing liver cancer. Here’s what the research revealed…

  • There is strong evidence linking excess weight and obesity to an increased risk of liver cancer. Today, 69 percent of U.S. adults are currently overweight or obese.
  • It confirmed the link between alcohol consumption and liver cancer. Getting above three drinks a day seems to dramatically increase the risk.
  • There are indications that both physical activity and fish consumption may decrease the risk of liver cancer. However, more research is necessary to reach firm conclusions.

“This is the first time there’s been such a clear signal from a rigorous systematic review on the links between obesity increasing risk of liver cancer and coffee decreasing risk,” said Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., one of the CUP expert panelists. “People really need to be aware of this issue.”

The Associate Director of Nutrition Programs at the American Institute of Cancer Research agrees.

“Next to not smoking, getting to and staying at a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from many cancers,” Alice Bender, M.S., R.D.N. said.

“That means it’s more important than ever to do what you can to get to a healthy weight: being active every day, putting plenty of plant foods like fruits, vegetables and grains on your plate and limiting or avoiding alcohol. The good news is that these same strategies lower risk for many other common cancers and chronic diseases.”

 

SOURCE: New Liver Cancer Report, New Links Emerge: Coffee Is Protective, Obesity Increases Risk. Press Release. American Institute for Cancer Research. Mar 2015.

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