Good news for coffee lovers! A new research just found that coffee can actually help keep the liver in good health.
Findings by a team from the Monash University found that drinking 2 or more cups of coffee a day can help prevent liver diseases and even reduce damage caused by some of these conditions.
"Certainly moderate amounts of coffee, depending on the liver disease you're looking at, seem to be associated with less liver damage and probably less liver fat, as well," reported Dr. Alex Hodge, a liver specialist from Monash Health who was also part of the research team.
The researchers conducted their study on 1,100 patients with liver disease from the Monash Health Clinic. According to their findings, 2 cups a day of coffee was found to reduce the damage due to hepatitis C by 13 percent. Four cups of coffee was also found to decrease symptoms of fatty liver disease by as much as 24 percent.
Hodge and his colleagues also determined that even people with risk factors such as weight, smoking and alcohol consumption were able to reap these benefits from drinking coffee.
"The most striking results were found in patients with hepatitis C," Hodge said. "Two or more cups of coffee led to an improvement in their liver disease."
Additionally, the research team's study found that the same results could not be said of liver disease patients drinking the same amount of tea. It's also still not clear how coffee helps in reducing the impact of liver diseases in the first place.
Hodge said that the caffeine certainly could have helped, but there may be more substances at work and that more research can be carried out to find out more.
Millions around the world suffer from some form of liver disease, be it fatty liver disease or a type of hepatitis (A, B and C are the most common). Because it is one of the major organs responsible for detoxifying the body, the liver is prone to diseases caused by the accumulation of toxins. Symptoms of liver problems may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal area).
Treatment options may also vary depending on the liver disease. To maintain liver health, experts recommend eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, not drinking a lot of alcohol, being careful with dietary supplements and of course, drinking coffee.
Hodge presented the study findings at The Liver Meeting in San Francisco, the annual gathering of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.