Liver health is an important concern for many of us. The rates of liver cancer has been increasing about 3% each year since 1980. Last year about 42,000 people died from it. But coffee may help improve liver health.
Coffee is rich in antioxidants and caffeine as well as riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin. Drinking it has both advantages and disadvantages, which are proven scientifically. One of the most important benefits that has always been in the limelight is that coffee lends to a longer life. Along with extending your life, there are many more benefits linked to coffee consumption. However, to enjoy these benefits, you must stick to black coffee and not more than four to five cups a day
The liver is an incredibly important organ that has hundreds of different functions in the body. It is very sensitive to modern insults like excess alcohol and fructose intake. The end stage of liver damage is called Cirrhosis, and involves most of the liver being replaced with scar tissue. Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for those who drink 4 or more cups per day. Liver cancer is also common, it is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.
Limited coffee consumption is linked to better liver health. For liver health, filtered coffee is more hepatoprotective, meaning it prevents certain harmful substances like kahweol and cafestol from reaching your body.
- A study published in Hepatology suggests that increased caffeine intake may reduce fatty liver in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Caffeine stimulates the metabolizing of lipids stored in liver cells and decreased the fatty liver of mice that were fed a high-fat diet. It even reduces the risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare autoimmune disease of the bile ducts in the liver. When suffering from fatty liver disease, do not drink unfiltered coffee as it can worsen the symptoms.
- A study published in the Annals of Epidemiology reports that coffee, but not other beverages containing caffeine, may inhibit the onset of alcoholic and nonalcoholic liver cirrhosis. Another study published in the same journal the next year confirms the inverse association between coffee consumption and liver cirrhosis.
- Later, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that coffee drinking was related to lower prevalence of high aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels. This in turn protects against cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.
Not just liver cirrhosis, coffee consumption is even linked to a lower risk of liver cancer. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of liver cancer. Similarly, a meta-analysis published in Gastroenterology also suggests that an increased consumption of coffee may reduce the risk of liver cancer.