Drinking more coffee may help prevent alcohol-related cirrhosis

Updated 6:17 AM EST, Mon February 22, 2016

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In eight out of nine studies examined, researchers found coffee consumption may have helped prevent cirrhosis

Alcoholism is the second most common cause of cirrhosis In the U.S.

CNN —  

Make that black coffee order a double.

Upping your coffee intake may help reduce your chances of developing alcohol-related cirrhosis, according to a review done by the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics of multiple existing studies.

Drinking just two more cups of coffee every day may lower the risk of developing the liver condition by 44%, according to researchers who analyzed nine studies that examined the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis.

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More than 430,000 participants were a part of the nine studies. The duration of these studies varied, but the longest one lasted about 20 years. In eight of the nine studies examined, researchers found increasing coffee consumption by two cups per day was “associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk of cirrhosis.” The review, published January 25, is the first meta-analysis to show the potential protective properties of coffee.

Dr. Oliver Kennedy, who conducted the research as part of a team at Southampton University in the United Kingdom, told CNN the team combined the data of these existing studies to calculate a more precise relationship between coffee and the risk of cirrhosis.

They found that the risk of cirrhosis was lower at higher levels of coffee consumption. “For example, compared to no coffee, 1 cup per day was associated with a 22% lower risk of cirrhosis and 4 cups per day was associated with a 65% lower risk. However, there may be an upper limit beyond which there is no further benefit,” Kennedy said.

But while coffee may reduce the risk of cirrhosis, it will not fully counteract the harmful effects of excess alcohol consumption, Kennedy added.

Cirrhosis is a condition that deteriorates the liver, replacing healthy tissue with scar tissue that blocks blood flow. Common causes for the liver disorder are chronic hepatitis infections, excessive alcohol consumption, immune diseases, obesity and diabetes. And the damaging condition can be fatal, according to the National Institution of Diabetes and Digestive a