ROCHESTER, Minn.?Individuals who drink coffee have a 20% lower risk for a particular autoimmune liver disease, according to new research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., linked coffee consumption with reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a disease of the bile ducts that causes inflammation and subsequent duct obstruction that ultimately can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver failure and biliary cancer.
"While rare, PSC has extremely detrimental effects," said Craig Lammert, M.D., instructor of medicine at Mayo Clinic. "We are always looking for ways to mitigate risk, and our first-time finding points to a novel environmental effect that might also help us to determine the cause of this and other devastating autoimmune diseases."
The study examined the largest cohort of patients with PSC and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in the U.S. as well as a healthy control group. Data showed that coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of PSC, but not PBC. PSC patients were much more likely to never consume coffee compared with the control group. The control group also spent nearly 20% more of their life regularly drinking coffee.
In 2010, a study published in the journal Hepatology found patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) who consume more than 2.25 cups of regular coffee daily have milder liver fibrosis.