Life Extension Magazine July 2014
New Health Benefits From Daily Coffee
By Jeffrey Huntington
Coffee Prevents Liver And Kidney Cancers
The rich brew of bioactive compounds in coffee is now credited with preventing certain cancers, particularly those of the liver and kidneys.18
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary malignant cancer of the liver; it is strongly associated with hepatitis B and C viral infections, and coffee drinking appears to confer a protective effect.68
Compared with people drinking 0-1 cups of coffee/day, those drinking 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, and 8 or more cups/day have reductions in liver cancer risk of 34, 56, 62, and 68%, respectively.17 This level of protection is provided by coffee, regardless of whether a person has been infected with either or both hepatitis B and C viruses, both of which are strongly associated with liver cancer.69 Overall, studies show a remarkably consistent average risk reduction of about 50% in coffee drinkers versus non-drinkers, regardless of study design or location.70
Proposed mechanisms for protection against liver cancer include induction of toxin-destroying and anti-oxidant enzymes, and reducing enzymes that activate carcinogens.18
Coffee consumption appears to reduce kidney cancer risk as well, with laboratory evidence demonstrating that coffee helps destroy renal cancer cells.18,19 Compelling evidence also shows general improvements in kidney function among coffee drinkers.
Several studies have now shown that coffee significantly increases kidney function as measured by glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the amount of toxin-containing fluid that is filtered through the kidney each minute (higher numbers are better).71,72 The effect was demonstrated to be even greater in middle-aged and elderly coffee-consuming female diabetics.73 And among kidney dialysis patients, coffee drinking is associated with significant improvements in lipid profile, a cardiovascular risk increases in those on dialysis.74
Coffee, one of the world’s most popular beverages, is a complicated mix of more than a thousand compounds. In addition to caffeine, which itself appears to have beneficial effects, coffee also contains polyphenols and other compounds capable of modifying gene expression, protecting tissues from oxidant and inflammatory damage, and other favorable effects.
A major study demonstrated that coffee drinkers are at significantly lower risk of dying from all causes, as well as from many of the specific conditions that are the leading cause of death among Americans, from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. Additional studies have shown benefits from coffee consumption on metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers of the kidney and liver.
So, find a brand of coffee that you enjoy, preferably one with known quantities of antioxidant molecules, and drink up—you’ll be doing yourself and your health a pleasurable favor.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
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