Researchers seem to be in a constant state of flux when it comes to the topic of drinking coffee. One day a cup is good for you, the next three cups are great for you and then we’re told the hot drink is the devil. It’s a constant back and fourth. Well if you’re in the Don’t Take My Coffee Away From Me, Ever camp, rejoice! Science has found yet another reason our morning (or evening) cuppa can do us some good.
New research shows that downing more coffee may help reduce the liver damage caused by alcohol, Reuters reports.
Researchers found that those who drank two cups of coffee every day were 44% less likely to develop Cirrhosis – severe scarring of the liver and poor liver function.
Researchers at the United Kingdom’s Southampton University surveyed nine previously published studies that included 1,990 patients diagnosed with irreversible liver damage that can be caused by excessive drinking, along with hepatitis infections, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease.
The number drops to 22% for one cuppa and increases to 57% for three cups and 64% for four. And when these researchers say coffee, they don’t mean your favourite hazelnut latte and the like, it varies. For example, boiled versus filtered coffee was tested in one study, with filtered offering the greatest benefit. It’s also not clear exactly how coffee might lead to a healthier liver, or whether the type of beans or brewing method matter, so there are some gaps in the research.
“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal, and there is no cure as such,” said lead study author Dr. Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University in the U.K. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing Cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous and well-tolerated beverage.”
But alas, while coffee has been said to decrease heart disease and reduce diabetes as well as the above, it can’t reverse liver damage caused by lifestyle factors (it might only reduce it), so obviously, coffee is not a license to excessively drink and attempt to undo it all in the morning with a cup of joe. As with most things in life, the everything in moderation mantra is the safest route.
“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,” Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, added.
So, the bad news is that coffee won’t magically get you off the hook if you’ve had one too many, but on the plus side, you don’t have to feel guilty about that extra cup in the morning.