Study: All Coffee Is Good For Your Liver
A study has found that drinking up to 3-4 cups of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee a day reduces your risk of developing and dying from chronic liver diseases.
These results weren't found to be different based on different types of coffee, either. So whether you're a fan of dark roast, light roast, hot coffee, iced coffee, cold brew, or espresso—you can rest assured knowing that your beloved beverage just may be doing as much good for your liver as it does for your energy level.
Coffee has long been associated with numerous health benefits. More recently, there was even a study showing that up to 25 cups a day didn't negatively affect heart health. However, its effects on the liver had been largely unknown.
According to the study: Coffee drinkers were found to be 21% less likely to develop chronic liver disease, 20% less likely to develop chronic or fatty liver disease, and 49% less likely to die from chronic liver disease compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver, and can eventually lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver becomes scarred and damaged. The scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue, preventing the liver from working correctly, and it can eventually lead to liver failure.
The findings suggest that drinking coffee may protect against development of these type of diseases.
In the researchers' words: "this study provides evidence of a protective effect of all types of coffee (including decaffeinated) against CLD outcomes." They even say that this information could be beneficial for populations in low-to-medium income countries, where the burden of chronic liver disease is the highest.
They also referenced a study from a few years earlier, which found that: "Increased consumption of caffeinated coffee and, to a lesser extent, decaffeinated coffee are associated with reduced risk of HCC, including in pre-existing liver disease."*
*HCC stands for hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common form of liver cancer)
Further studies on coffee and the liver are expected in the future, but these type of results are extremely encouraging for the possibility of a "coffee based intervention" for people at risk of chronic liver disease or CLD complications.
While the findings of this study are encouraging, it's important to remember that coffee is not meant to be a "cure" for any chronic liver diseases—if you have any liver conditions, you should definitely consult a qualified physician rather than trying to treat it by drinking extra cups of coffee. However, the findings suggest that some coffee could be a helpful addition to the diet for people who are at risk of these conditions or their complications.
So—as if you needed another excuse to drink coffee—if you're looking for ways to bolster your liver health, it just might be time to pour yourself a second cup! Need a few more reasons? Here is our list of 5 health benefits.
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