A meta-analysis review suggests that increasing coffee consumption may substantially reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis. The study was conducted by researchers at the Universities of Southampton (England), and Edinburgh (Scotland), and was published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

In total, 5 cohort studies and 4 case-control studies were included as part of the review. The studies reported odds ratios, relative risks (RR) or hazard ratios for cirrhosis stratified by coffee consumption. Study authors calculated the RR of cirrhosis for an increase in daily coffee consumption of 2 cups for each study and overall. There were a total of 432,133 participants across the 9 studies.

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The researchers found the pooled RR of cirrhosis for a daily increase in coffee consumption of 2 cups was 0.56 (95% CI 0.44–0.68; I2 83.3%). For cohort studies alone, the pooled RR for a daily increase of 2 cups was 0.58 (95% CI 0.41–0.76; I2 91.1%), and for case-control studies alone it was 0.52 (95% CI 0.40–0.63; I2 0.0%). These figures compare to the pooled RR of alcoholic cirrhosis where a daily increase of 2 cups was 0.62 (95% CI 0.51–0.73; I2 0%).

Though coffee appeared to protect against cirrhosis, the authors call for more robust clinical trials to investigate benefits and harms of coffee, in order to aid doctors in making specific recommendations. 

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