If you’re a heavy drinker, coffee could be the savior of your liver and reverse the damaging effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Of course, coffee will also need a few trusty sidekicks such as healthy diet and moderation.
- Researchers studied the effects of coffee against cirrhosis on over 430,000 people
- Cirrhosis has overconsumption of alcohol on the list of causes
- The condition kills 1 million people each year
- One cup of coffee per day decreased the risk of liver cirrhosis by 22%, two cups by 43%, three cups by 57%, and four cups by 65%
Researchers from the University of Southampton analyzed data collected by nine studies that gathered around 430,000 participants from the United Kingdom. Their aim was to observe the effects of coffee consumption on patients with liver cirrhosis or with risk of developing the condition.
According to lead author of the study, Dr. Oliver Kennedy, it’s a “potentially fatal condition” that is currently without a cure. Loosely explained, cirrhosis is a disease that often springs from excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages. It’s influenced by a number of unfortunate conditions that are hazardous to the liver, such as alcoholism, obesity, or poor dietary habits.
Each year, cirrhosis is the cause of death of 1 million people around the world. On the list of causes is, as mentioned, excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis, immune diseases, or fatty liver disease. However, it is possible that the most popular morning pick-me-up drink is a solution to decreasing the risk. In fact, just two cups of Joe per day could help your liver recover.
In eight of the nine studies examined, researchers found that daily consumption of coffee decreased the risk of developing liver cirrhosis. In fact, even in patients who already had the condition, the intake of coffee managed to diminish the symptoms. When compared to non-coffee drinkers, the risk was gradually decreased the more the person drank. This ranged from a 22% decrease for a single cup of coffee per day, to a whopping 65% decreased risk for four daily cups of coffee.
So, it seems that there is a solution for repeated overconsumption of alcohol. Coffee is there to rescue you, from more than just tiredness or making morning Mr./Mrs. Cranky go away.
However, Dr. Kennedy highlighted the fact that this doesn’t mean we should all just start gulping down pots of coffee each day. In fact, there’s more research required. For starters, it’s largely unknown which types of beans and brewing technique is the most favorable. One study in particular found that filtered coffee reduced the risk of liver disease much more than boiled coffee.
Furthermore, the researchers could not pinpoint the exact mechanism or compound that aids in eliminating the effects of excessive alcohol consumption. While the impact cannot be denied, they do not know what exactly does the trick. It should also be noted that coffee by itself can only do so much.
While it’s the miracle liquid that helps most of us wake up in the morning, it cannot combat poor lifestyle choices that severely damage the liver alone, such as alcoholism or obesity. However, it’s good to keep in mind that a few cups of coffee could diminish the effects of those few extra cocktails.
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