Yay! More good news about coffee drinking

I know eventually all this great science around the benefits of coffee will be undone, but I’m going to enjoy my copious cups of coffee while I can with clear conscience. A study out this week finds that coffee drinking can reduce the risk of  hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, the most common type of liver cancer.  From the Los Angeles Times’ coverage:

Compared with people who drank no more than six cups of coffee per week, those who drank one to three cups per day were 29% less likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, which is the most common form of liver cancer. Serious coffee drinkers — those who downed four or more cups per day — were 42% less likely to be diagnosed with the disease.

“Now we can add HCC to the list of medical ailments, such as Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, that may be prevented by coffee intake,” study leader V. Wendy Setiawan, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a statement.

Though she is not a physician, she added: “Daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in individuals who are at high risk for HCC.”

According to the Times story, HCC accounts for 85% of liver cancers and kills 16,000 or so people a year. About five of every 100,000 Americans will develop the disease.

The findings are based on info from a study dating back to the 1990s, which has been tracking almost 180,000 adults from a variety of ethnic backgrounds since then. Controlling for the usual factors — BMI, drinking, smoking — the researchers found that the positive coffee results occurred no matter an individual’s ethnicity.

Yay, coffee!

The Times did beat us to the obvious joke: No, Starbucks didn’t fund this study. The National Cancer Institute did.

Posted by Steve