Study Suggests Coffee Can Curb Liver Damage Caused By Alcohol

Above: Drinking coffee regularly can slow liver disease, researchers say
Above: Drinking coffee regularly can slow liver disease, researchers say

Coffee has long been considered the kind of thing that should be enjoyed in moderation. As much as we depend on the drink to survive the work day, the consensus has generally been that it just isn’t very good for you.

Lately, however, more and more information has been suggesting the opposite. In 2005, for example, research revealed that coffee is rich in beneficial antioxidants. Similarly, research in 2013 suggested that drinking coffee can slightly reduce a person’s risk of depression. Then, in early 2015, a study found that drinking coffee might actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. And more recently still, a study published in the science journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics has found that regular coffee-drinking can greatly reduce a person’s susceptibility to cirrhosis of the liver.

If you’re unfamiliar, cirrhosis of the liver is an ugly disease that causes liver tissue to be replaced by scar tissue, which in turn restricts blood flow through the liver and reduces its ability to function properly. One of the primary causes of the disease, which kills more than one million people worldwide each year, is frequent alcohol consumption—something many of us can relate to.

Yet according to researchers from the University of Southampton, the best way to curb the risk of liver cirrhosis might be a few cups of coffee. This research, which examined nine previous cirrhosis-related studies covering half a million people in six countries, suggests that two cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis by some 44%. If accurate, this rate would make coffee more effective than several cirrhosis medications, such as statins, which are only 25% effective.

Of course, this is not to suggest that ceaseless binge drinking is safe if you down a few cups of java in the morning. Instead, as the study’s introduction states: “In the context of liver disease, coffee appears to confer a number of protective effects.”

So, there you have it, coffee drinkers. You can now enjoy a few cups a day without feeling guilty about it.

Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor is a globetrotting writer currently based in Ottawa, Canada. He covers mixed martial arts for Fightland and Vice Sports, and freelances for a number of other publications. Follow him on Twitter @TomTayMMA.

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