Woman drinking coffee

Coffee linked to lower liver disease risk

A new study claims drinking coffee regularly may lower your risk for getting a rare liver disease.

Yet another reason not to skip your morning java.

According to a new study, drinking coffee regularly may lower your risk for liver disease.

Coffee protects the body from primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare disease that ruins liver bile, and causes swelling and obstruction both inside and outside the liver. When this disease is not treated, it can cause cirrhosis, liver failure and biliary cancer. Treating it usually involves an organ transplant.

The study involved putting participants into three groups: patients with PSC, primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients and healthy patients. They drank coffee within a certain duration and found that drinking coffee lowered the risk for PSC — but not PBC.

PBC is a another autoimmune liver disease where the immune system gradually destroys the small bile ducts in the liver, which leads to toxin buildup and cirrhosis.

"We're always looking for ways to mitigate risk, and our first-time finding points to a novel environmental factor that also might help us to determine the cause of this and other devastating autoimmune diseases," said Dr. Craig Lammert, lead author and a gastroenterologist with Mayo Clinic.

According to the St. Louis University Liver Center, one in every 10 Americans are or have been affected with liver and biliary disease — and 50 percent of them did not show symptoms.

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