26 Mar 2015 06:36 PM EST
-by Samantha Wilson, Assistant Editor; Image: Cup of coffee (Image Source: Julius Schorzman/Wikimedia Commons)
While it’s no surprise that imbibing in a number of alcoholic drinks every day can raise the risk of liver cancer, new research has shown that there is “strong evidence” that another sort of drink can lower a person’s odds for developing the disease.
A report from the World Cancer Research Fund International found evidence that coffee lowers the odds for liver cancer. Researchers gathered data on 8.2 million people who took part in 34 studies held around the world. Within the study, there were a total of 24,500 people who had liver cancer. The studies were gathered and reviewed by a team at the Imperial College London in England, and reviewed again by an independent panel of experts.
The point of the study was to determine how diet, weight and amount of physical activity affected liver cancer. Being obese or overweight affects the chances of developing liver cancer, along with drinking three or more alcoholic drinks each day.
Foods contaminated by aflatoxins are also a major risk factor for liver toxins. Aflatoxins are toxins produced by fungi, usually from not being stored properly. Some affected foods include cereals, spices, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, chili peppers, black pepper, dried fruit and figs, according to the study.
But the study does show that drinking coffee each day lowers the risk for liver cancer. It’s unclear how much coffee is recommended for this effect. Other ways to lower the risk for liver cancer are to maintain a healthy weight and keep drinking to a minimum — a maximum two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women — or not drink alcohol at all.
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