Coffee is rich in antioxidant compounds, which help protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radical damage has been implicated in a variety of chronic diseases and conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and aging. According to W.W. Huber and W. Parzefall at the Medical University of Vienna, coffee contains the compound methylpyridinium, which has anti-cancer properties and isn’t found in any other food source. Methylpyridinium isn’t found in the raw coffee beans but is formed during the roasting process from trigonelline.
Drinking coffee can reduce the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver, according to A.L. Klatsky and colleagues from the Department of Medicine, California. The researchers concluded this after a study of 125,580 multiethnic subjects, where it was found that among persons drinking 4 or more cups of coffee per day, the incidence of alcoholic cirrhosis was 80 percent less compared to persons drinking no coffee. Protective effects were also evident in persons drinking just 1 cup of coffee per day — these subjects had a 30 percent decrease in alcoholic cirrhosis risk compared to subjects drinking no coffee.
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