There is yet another reason to bask over a warm cup of coffee in the morning. A new study suggests extra coffee consumption can reduce the risk of liver damage done from drinking alcohol or indulging in fatty foods.
The Washington Post reports about the new study from Britain’s Southampton University where a group of researchers analyzed the results of nine different studies and looked at more than 400,000 participants. What researchers found was that people who drink two extra cups of coffee a day have a 44% lower chance of developing liver cirrhosis.
The study’s lead author, Oliver Kennedy, explains what the information could mean for the future of the incurable and sometimes fatal disease. Kennedy says, “Cirrhosis is potentially fatal, and there is no cure as such. Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage.”
Factors like hepatitis infections, excessive alcohol, fatty liver disease and certain immune disorders can lead to cirrhosis. Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Langone Medical Center, explains that while coffee may show some promise in lowering risk for cirrhosis, it can not totally undo the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. Heller explains, “Unfortunately, although coffee contains compounds that have antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties, drinking a few cups of coffee a day cannot undo the systematic damage that is the result of being overweight or obese, sedentary, excessive alcohol consumption or drastically mitigate an unhealthy diet.”
Kennedy also points out that it is still unclear what chemical compound in coffee is responsible protecting the liver. It is also unclear if there is a specific type of bean or brewing process that would better benefit the liver.
What do you think of the new research that suggests consuming more coffee can protect your liver?
Would you consider adding a daily extra cup or two for the added liver protection?