Coffee: Pour Another Cup, Guilt-Free

Cup of coffeeCoffee is not only a welcome way that 54% of Americans start their day, it also offers liver benefits to coffee fans. I have shared good news about coffee and liver health in several past blogs, including last year’s The Buzz of Caffeine in which coffee’s ability to protect against liver cancer was discussed. Now there’s a recent report out of 2016’s The Liver Meeting that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of both liver fibrosis (scarring) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – good news for anyone concerned with a healthy liver.

The coffee-liver news at The Liver Meeting came from results of a systematic review and meta-analysis presented at the annual conference hosted by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. The researchers reported that the risk of NAFLD was significantly lower in coffee drinkers than non-drinkers; liver scarring was also less likely in those who drank coffee regularly.

These benefits could be tied to coffee’s ability to lower liver enzymes and preserve liver function. Coffee drinkers consistently measure as having lower liver enzyme levels, including serum alanine aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase.

Past research shows that coffee slows disease progression in chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and infection with the hepatitis C virus. Drinking coffee over the course of a lifetime protects against the development of liver cancer.

Not only is it allowed for those with various liver concerns to drink coffee, it can even be encouraged; which is good news indeed for the more than half of us who can’t start the day without it.

Sources

Wijarnpreecha K, et al, 2016. Coffee consumption and risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis, European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, published online.

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