Higher coffee intake may help reduce the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease, according to a University of Copenhagen-led study.
In the study, Professor Anne Tybjærg-Hansen and her colleagues in Denmark tested the hypothesis that high coffee consumption causally protects against symptomatic gallstone disease.
“First, we tested whether high coffee intake was associated with low risk of gallstone disease in 104,493 individuals from the general population,” they explained.
“Secondly, we tested whether two genetic variants near CYP1A1/A2 (rs2472297) and AHR (rs4410790) genes, combined as an allele score, were associated with higher coffee intake measured as a continuous variable.”
“Thirdly, we tested whether the allele score was associated with lower risk of gallstone disease in 114,220 individuals including 7,294 gallstone events.”
Among 104,493 individuals, those who drank more than six cups of coffee per day had a 23% lower risk of developing symptomatic gallstones compared with individuals who did not drink coffee.
Drinking one extra cup of coffee per day was associated with 3% lower risk.
Also, individuals with rs2472297 and rs4410790 genetic variants had a lower risk of gallstones.
“High coffee intake is associated observationally with low risk of gallstone disease, and with genetic evidence to support a causal relationship,” Professor Tybjærg-Hansen and co-authors said.
“Although the study only uncovered correlations, we highlighted several mechanisms by which coffee consumption might help prevent gallstones from forming.”
The findings were published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
A.T. Nordestgaard et al. Coffee intake protects against symptomatic gallstone disease in the general population: a Mendelian randomization study. Journal of Internal Medicine, published online September 4, 2019; doi: 10.1111/joim.12970