(AscendHealthy.com) – According to the CDC, the United States currently has 4.5 million adults living with chronic liver disease (CLD). This debilitating condition, which kills over 44,000 US residents each year, can have multiple causes, with genetics, diet, and infections all being possible culprits.
We may reduce our risks of developing all forms of liver disease by including one popular drink in our daily regimens. What’s even better is many of us are already enjoying a cup or four every morning. That’s right, drinking coffee could help protect the liver. Here’s the latest research.
Researchers have looked extensively into the effects of caffeine, the active chemical in coffee, on the human body — but few have examined its other components. Experts at the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh sought to increase their understanding of the bitter concoction in a study that included nearly 500,000 participants (384,818 coffee drinkers and 109,767 non-coffee drinkers). They published their findings in BMC Public Health.
During the 10.7-year study period, the coffee drinkers recorded their coffee consumption, noting whether theirs was brewed (including espresso) or instant, caffeinated or decaf. Before the study, all participants underwent basic physical exams to determine baseline health and body mass index and rule out preexisting liver disease. They also filled out questionnaires about their health, including whether they had diabetes, how often they drank alcohol and whether they’d ever used tobacco.
Combating Liver Disease
The researchers recorded 301 deaths that directly resulted from CLD. In all, 3,600 participants developed the condition, with 5,439 suffering from either CLD or fatty liver disease (FLD). Another 184 developed liver cancer.
Regardless of the type of coffee participants drank, their risks of developing the above conditions fell dramatically. Coffee drinkers had 49% less liver disease overall, with people who consumed 3-4 cups each day 19% less likely to suffer from CLD or FLD and 21% less likely to get liver cancer. These effects occurred with decaf and instant coffee drinkers, as well as people who drank traditional brews.
These and other research findings suggest regular coffee consumption of any type can offer the liver a significant amount of protection against all kinds of CLD. However, future research will likely be aimed at determining the amount and type of coffee that is ideal for preventing liver disease. It’s also noteworthy to mention that caffeine is contraindicated during pregnancy, which should be taken into account when considering coffee as a preventative measure against liver disease. Speak to a healthcare professional to determine if added caffeine in your diet is right for you.
Java lovers can rejoice — we might have one more reason to get the coffee brewing each morning. CLD could have several possible causes, but a few cups of java as part of our daily routines could help protect against them.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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