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Coffee & Health
GI function

Disorders of other intestinal organs

Several studies have looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and its effects on the gallbladder, liver and pancreas

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GI function
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Effects of coffee consumption


Two major prospective cohort studies consistently show an inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk of symptomatic gallstones25,26. Other studies suggest that the effect of coffee may vary depending on the progression of the gallbladder disease27.

Coffee and caffeine appear to trigger the contraction of the gallbladder and may prevent small crystals becoming large gallstones early in the disease28. However, if large gallstones are already present, such contraction of the gallbladder may cause pain. There is some evidence to suggest that coffee exerts its effect through caffeine, but further studies are required to confirm this hypothesis25-28.

Further detailed information is available in the gallstones section of the coffee and health website here.


Studies looking at the relationship between coffee consumption and risk of liver cancer suggest an inverse association.

  • Epidemiological research in 2007 and 2016 suggests that moderate coffee consumption may help to reduce the risk of liver cancer, and the risk falls as coffee consumption 30,41,42
  • In its 2016 review, the Institute for Research into Cancer (IARC) concluded there is a consistent and statistically significant inverse association between coffee consumption and liver cancer30
  • Further epidemiological studies in patients with other liver diseases have all found a positive effect of moderate coffee drinking on limiting disease progression29

Further detailed information is available in the liver section here.


IARC concluded that coffee consumption is not linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer30.

  • The World Cancer Research Fund also reviewed over 50 studies and found no increase in risk of developing pancreatic cancer with coffee consumption43
  • Further studies have also confirmed the absence of a relationship, and some studies suggest that regular coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer44-47

Further detailed information is available in the cancer section here.

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