Just recently, we’ve covered the findings of one study that drinking coffee does not cause irregular heartbeats, but as a matter of fact, regular coffee consumption is linked to many health benefits. The benefits of coffee consumption continue to become known as one systematic review and meta-analysis published at journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics that looked at 9 previous study linking regular coffee consumption to reduced risk of liver damage. The researchers reviewed the data of those past published studies on coffee accounting over 430,000 subjects with findings that drinking two more cups of Joe per day is associated to 44% lower risk of developing a liver damage called cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis of the liver is due to fatty liver disease associated with diabetes, obesity, heavy drinking of alcohol and unhealthy diets. According to Dr. Oliver Kennedy, lead author of the meta-analysis review from Southampton University in the U.K., cirrhosis of the liver is potentially fatal and no cure for it. He added, their findings during the review that consuming coffee regularly, which is a cheap and ubiquitous beverage is significant.
The 9 studies in which Dr. Kennedy and colleagues reviewed that average coffee consumption on those earlier studies found that two additional cup of coffee a day might have a positive impact on liver disease. All the previous 9 studies consisted of 1,990 subjects with cirrhosis. Eight of the nine studies they’ve analyzed revealed that consuming two cups of coffee a day result to a significant reduction in risk of cirrhosis. Furthermore, one study in particular, revealed a steady decline of cirrhosis risk when there is an increased in coffee consumption.
- 22% lower risk of cirrhosis = 1 cup of coffee a day
- 43% lower risk of cirrhosis = 2 cups of coffee a day
- 57% lower risk of cirrhosis = 3 cups of coffee a day
- 65% lower risk of cirrhosis = 4 cups of coffee a day
However, while the findings of the review are amazing, researchers aren’t quite certain as some questions are unresolved whether which coffee preparation is more effective. For instance, one study found a strong link that drinking filtered coffee reduced risk of cirrhosis than boiled coffee. In addition, while the previous studies reviewed on this meta-analysis accounted for alcohol consumption, no all of those studies accounted other factors that can increase risk of cirrhosis like diabetes and obesity.
The findings according to the researchers review and meta-analysis are undeniably amazing. However, patients or people with cirrhosis are forewarned not to load up with frothy caramel lattes, which are packed with a high amount of added sugar and whipped cream according to the lead author of the study, Dr. Oliver Kennedy. Researchers are still unclear the exact mechanism of coffee’s liver health benefits. The question is yet to be answered as to whether the health benefit that lowers risk of cirrhosis comes from the type of beans or the preparation of the coffee.
Moreover, it is worth noting that added sugar on coffee you consumed can exceed your maximum daily sugar limit, which is not healthy for the liver, and heart according to Harvard. Kennedy also added,
Coffee is a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds, and it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver.
On the other hand, New York University Langone Medical Center Senior Clinical Nutritionist Samantha Heller said that coffee alone is not strong enough to offset a person’s unhealthy lifestyle which as a sever impact on liver health and result to damage. In a statement through email she said,
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.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices Should Be Prioritized
Coffee consumption particularly black coffee without any added sugar has many healthy benefits. However, coffee is only a part of the entire equation to stay healthy and reversed cirrhosis. Still, there’s no substitute for healthy lifestyle practices including clean and healthy eating, enough rest, minimizing or even eliminating alcohol, and among many other unhealthy habits that endangered liver health. If you’re among the people who is affected with a liver disease like cirrhosis, always talk to your doctor for proper treatment, and perhaps do along some natural liver cleansing like drinking lemon water, and eating certain foods that have an effective liver cleansing effect.
Also note that, for those who are sensitive to coffee acidity, you might want to cold brew your coffee instead of preparing it in a traditional way of brewing, which is using hot water. Cold brewing coffee reduces the acidity of the coffee making taste smoother than conventionally brewed coffee.