Coffee may decrease risk for liver conditions



More good news for coffee lovers: Having three or more cups of "joe" each day may help ward off serious liver ailments, new research suggests.

The 26-year study of more than 14,000 Americans couldn't prove cause and effect. However, participants who drank three-plus cups of coffee a day were 21 percent less likely to find themselves hospitalized with liver-related illnesses, the researchers said.

"Coffee drinkers may be at lower risk for liver disease," said a team led by Dr. Mariana Lazo, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore. The findings also support the notion that "low and moderate levels of coffee may not be harmful to the liver," the researchers said.

The study drew on data from a major national heart disease study. Participants filled out food questionnaires that included a question on coffee intake, and their medical records were followed over 26 years.

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