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Coffee & Health quarterly news bulletin

24th Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of the Coffee & Health quarterly news bulletin, a resource for healthcare professionals and media.

In this issue we highlight content on this quarter’s theme, Liver Function, including an expert roundtable and an accompanying report on the topic.

You can also stay up-to-date with recently published scientific papers from the past quarter by reading ‘The Latest Research on Coffee and Health’ section.

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In this expert comment Dr. Carlo La Vecchia discusses liver health and the suggested association between coffee intake and reduced risk of liver disease.


This quarter, delegates from seven European countries convened at the Royal Society of Medicine in London to take part in ISIC’s expert roundtable discussing liver health, coffee and caffeine.

Roundtable delegates including academics, media medics and representatives from national liver associations from across Europe, met to discuss the most recent research into coffee and liver health, and the potential mechanisms behind a suggested reduced risk of liver disease.

The roundtable was chaired by Professor Graeme Alexander (University College London and senior advisor to the British Liver Trust) who also presented on the prevalence of liver disease in Europe and the role of lifestyle. Dr. Carlo La Vecchia (Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Dept. of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano) discussed the latest research on coffee and liver health and potential mechanisms, before the roundtable opened up for discussion on topics such as patient awareness.


Following the roundtable, ISIC published an expert report, ‘Looking after the liver: lifestyle, coffee and caffeine’ in association with the British Liver Trust. The report summarised the research discussed during the roundtable, including how coffee may affect chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The expert report was picked up widely in the press across many national newspapers, including the front page of UK newspaper the Daily Express, as well as Daily Mail, The Sun, BBC News, Medical News Today, Health Medicine Network, International Business Times, IFL Science, Medisite, envandaag, Health Vesti and News Nowgr.


Published online in November, a new umbrella review by R Poole et al evaluated the existing evidence for associations between coffee consumption and multiple health outcomes. The umbrella review identified 201 meta-analyses of observational research with 67 unique health outcomes and 17 meta-analyses of interventional research with nine unique outcomes.

Results found that coffee consumption was more often associated with benefits than harm for a range of health outcomes across exposures including high versus low, any versus none, and one extra cup a day. The review concluded that coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual levels of intake, with summary estimates indicating largest risk reduction for various health outcomes at three to four cups a day, and more likely to benefit health than cause harm.

R Poole et al, 2017. Coffee consumption and health: an umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. British Medical Journal, Volume 359, published online.

Read the abstract here.

The report was covered widely in the media including BBC, Daily Mail, ITV, Guardian, Telegraph, Svenska, Talouselama, Der Standard and Medisite.


Coffee consumption and cancer

A Lafranconi et al performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of the association between coffee consumption and risk of endometrial cancer. In 12 eligible studies, the dose-response relationship, as well as the risk of endometrial cancer for the highest versus the lowest categories of coffee consumption, were assessed. Subgroup analyses considering menopausal and receptor statuses, smoking status, and BMI (Body Mass Index) were performed in order to identify potential cofounders. Findings suggest that increased coffee consumption is associated with decreased risk of endometrial cancer, and this association was also observed for postmenopausal cancer.

A Lafranconi et al, 2017. Coffee Decreases the Risk of Endometrial Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies, Nutrients, Volume 9 (11).

Read more on coffee and endometrial cancer.

Coffee consumption and inflammation

C L R S Paiva et al performed a systematic review summarising the effects of coffee or coffee components on serum levels of inflammatory markers. 15 studies (eight involving coffee and seven caffeine) were included. Increased adiponectin levels were found in four of seven trials comparing filtered coffee/caffeinated coffee with placebo or comparing its levels at baseline and after consumption of medium or dark roasted coffee, but no change was seen in caffeine trials. None of the five studies assessing the effects of coffee found changes in C-reactive protein (CPR), but one out of three trials found decreased CPR levels in response to caffeine. These data suggest a predominant anti-inflammatory action of coffee but not of caffeine consumption. Moreover, the proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses to caffeine point to its complex effects on the inflammatory response.

C L R S Paiva et al, 2017. Consumption of coffee or caffeine and serum concentration of inflammatory markers: a systematic review, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, published online.

Read more on coffee and health.


In Q1 2018, ISIC will focus on the theme of Sports Performance and will:

  • Update the website topic with new graphics
  • Film a selection of expert video clips on the effects of coffee and caffeine on sports performance
  • Highlight new ISIC-funded research on coffee as an ergogenic aid

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ISIC the Institute for Scientific Research on Coffee 2017 ©

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