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In the second bit of good coffee news in as many days, new research suggests drinking a cup o' joe every morning could help fight liver disease.
The findings indicate regular consumption of coffee is linked to a reduced risk of a rare autoimmune liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis, a progressive disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the bile ducts and which can eventually cause hardening and scarring and, ultimately, liver failure, according to a report published by Medical News Today.
Primary investigator Craig Lammert, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is presenting the findings of the research at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida this week.
Other research announced over the weekend linked coffee consumption with a lowered incidence of kidney stones.
Lammert explained in a statement that although PSC is rare, it has "extremely detrimental effects," so it has been an ongoing goal of medical researchers to find ways to reduce the risk of PSC and similar conditions.
For the study, Lammert and his colleagues examined three groups of patients: one group with PSC, another with primary biliary cirrhosis, or, PBC, another potentially deadly liver condition, and a third group of healthy, control subjects.
The researchers discovered coffee consumption had a risk-lowering effect for PSC, but not PBC.
They also noted PSC patients were more likely not to drink coffee, compared to healthy controls --- so, on average, spent an estimated 20 percent less time drinking coffee than the controls did.
Based on their analysis, the researchers concluded PSC and PBC may be more different than previously thought and learning more about those differences could offer clues about what leads to the two autoimmune diseases and how the conditions might be treated.
The National Institutes of Health and the American Liver Foundation helped fund the latest study.
Another study published in the journal Vascular Medicine suggested drinking boiled Greek coffee may improve cardiovascular health and increase longevity.