Fantastic news for those of us who enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee. A review of caffeine done by the European Food Safety Authority says drinking coffee about three to five cups per day can slash your risk of cirrhosis and liver disease by up to 70%.
The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee recently published a Roundtable Report that says regular coffee drinkers are 40% less likely to develop liver cancer.
Even more impressive, their research goes on to say that regular coffee drinkers are a whopping 25-70 percent less likely to get cirrhosis than those who do not drink coffee.
The Roundtable Report states that in Europe, Chronic Liver Disease is the fifth most common cause of death. Around 29 million people in the European Union currently suffer from a chronic liver condition.
However, that number is likely to be even higher because the disease often doesn’t show any symptoms.
Chronic liver disease covers many different conditions which include hepatitis, cirrhosis, fibrosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatocellular cancer.
Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said: “Liver disease is a silent killer as often there are no symptoms until it’s too late. Coffee is something that is easily accessible to everyone and regularly drinking it – filtered, instant or espresso – may make a difference in preventing and, in some cases, slowing down the progression of liver disease- it is an easy lifestyle choice to make.”
Risk factors for the chronic liver disease include (but are not limited to): obesity, alcohol misuse, and blood-borne viruses.
Professor Graeme Alexander, who is a professor at University College London and senior advisor to the British Liver Trust, said: “Liver disease is on the rise across Europe, and it is important that we understand how coffee, one of the most popular drinks in the world, and diet affect the disease. Research suggests that coffee may reduce the risk of liver diseases and it is important patients have access to dietary information and advice from healthcare professionals in a manner that is easy for them to understand and act upon.”
The liver is a complex organ that plays a large part in the metabolic processes within our bodies. Damage or inflammation of the liver can raise the levels of liver enzymes. Many researchers have studied the levels of liver enzymes about coffee consumption.
The data from the research shows that coffee drinkers exhibit significantly lower levels of the liver enzymes gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and alanine transaminase (ALT) than those who avoid coffee altogether.
Dr. Carlo La Vecchia Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology suggested in the report that a ‘number of components found in coffee could explain the effect, including caffeine, coffee oils, kahweol and cafestol and antioxidants.’
The research says that in addition to the reduced risk of liver disease, coffee intake is also associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Dr. La Vecchia suggests that there’s a potential link between coffee consumption that might be related to a reduction in insulin resistance.
This link could significantly improve the outcomes for both diabetes and liver health and needs to be researched further, but for now, the results speak for themselves; coffee in moderation is indeed, good for our health.
We’re all glad to hear about these health benefits because it gives us one more excuse to stop by the coffee shop on our way home. What’s your favorite drink to order?
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