Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may do more than just make you jittery. It may actually do you good. Research data has shown that high levels of caffeinated coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk for liver cancer and death from chronic liver disease as well as a reduction in risk of developing malignant melanoma.
The analysis was conducted by a group of researchers in the department of preventative medicine at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Data was collected from more than 160,000 study participants of various ethnic groups between 1993 and 1996. After approximately 18 years of follow-up, the researchers used national and state records to review cancer cases. Compared with those who did not drink coffee, participants who drank two to three cups per day had a 38% decrease in risk for liver cancer and a 46% reduction in risk for death from chronic liver disease. Those who drank four or more cups per day showed even better results: A 41% reduction in risk of developing liver cancer and a 71% reduction in risk of death from chronic liver disease. These associations were comparable regardless of ethnicity, sex, smoking status, body mass index, alcohol intake or diabetes status. A similar study was conducted with respect to malignant melanoma using almost 500,000 non-Hispanic white study participants (those at highest risk), and found that drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day reduced the likelihood of developing the disease.
Additional studies are warranted to determine which components of coffee actually provide the benefits. In the meantime, however, you might not want to skip your coffee break!