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Boost Liver Health With A Cup Of Coffee

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Despite early concerns about the harmful effects of drinking coffee, contemporary studies continue to show that the health benefits of our favourite caffeinated beverage are numerous.


Research has proven that the profusion of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants in coffee can have wide-ranging effects, from improving energy levels and physical performance to helping burn fat and lowering the risk of getting Type II Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and gallbladder disease.

And now a new study has revealed that people who drink three or more cups of coffee per day (regardless of caffeine content) have much lower levels of the abnormal liver enzymes in their blood that are a sign of damaged liver cells.

So if your fondness for a few glasses of wine during the week has left you concerned about your liver health – indeed liver disease is now the fifth biggest killer in the United Kingdom – then maybe it’s time to reach for the cafetiere and put down the corkscrew!

The findings

This latest study, which featured 27, 793 participants all above the age of 20, backs up the findings of previous research which linked coffee consumption with a lower risk of catching cirrhosis (severe liver scarring), liver disease, diabetes and having strokes.

The data, which was pulled from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2010, revealed that participants in this survey had lower levels of the enzymes gamma glutamyl transaminase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT).  

Lower levels of these enzymes in your blood is a very strong indicator of a healthy liver condition.

What this means

On the back of this recent research, which was recently published in the journal Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, scientists now believe that coffee contains a chemical compound which helps protect the liver.

This compound is separate to the caffeine content, which therefore means that decaffeinated coffee drinkers can also reap the same health benefits.

While, as mentioned above, previous studies have linked coffee consumption with having a healthy liver, this is the first study to indicate that this health benefit arises from an ingredient in coffee which is not caffeine.

Dr Qian Xiao, from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, concluded that:

“Our findings link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels.”

However, scientists are yet to identify the exact chemical compound responsible (there are over a 1,000 compounds in coffee), so further research will be carried out to pinpoint it.

So, there we have it, reassurance that coffee and decaffeinated coffee are beneficial to your liver function.

What do you think about these findings? Will it encourage you to drink coffee more regularly?

Get in touch with us here at Cafe2U with your thoughts and comments!   

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