Coffee is a life source for many of us. I can definitely admit to having gone through a period of extreme coffee obsession, despite having heard so much about how coffee is bad for my health. Yet now, in addition to the short-term benefits, there may be some long term benefits to drinking coffee, especially in preventing liver cirrhosis.
Liver cirrhosis is a disease where the healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. This may occur due to long-term injuries such as alcohol abuse, Hepatitis C, or fatty tissue. Scar tissue, in turn, leads to blockage of blood flow and hindering of proper nutrient exchange as well as hormones and naturally produced toxins, which may eventually lead to liver failure and death. It is estimated that about 0.27% of Americans have this disease, and 69% are unaware that they are affected by it.
A research team from the University of Southampton, UK performed analysis on data collected from about half a million men and women from six different countries. They concluded that increasing the amount of coffee people drink a day may reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis, based on a dose-response relationship between coffee and the disease. Statistically, drinking just two cups of coffee more during the day reduces your risk of liver cirrhosis by 44%, whereas the risk for death is nearly 50% reduced.
There is evidence that the compounds found in coffee, including anti-inflammatory agents, are shown to confer protection against the disease, although specific details are not given. The researchers also cite studies containing proof that the chemicals also block Hepatitis B and C and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Ultimately, the relevance between coffee consumption and liver cirrhosis is the largest ever seen, even more so than the medications themselves used for the prevention of the disease.
Image Source: Monica Rodriguez
Even though there is evidence about coffee protecting against liver cirrhosis, more studies need to be conducted in order to research both the positive and negative effects more thoroughly. Make sure exercise caution in overly ingesting coffee! However, if future studies do prove to be as fruitful as this one, it is possible that perhaps we can play a more active role in preventing disease in our everyday lives while making use of something most of us already love. So here’s to coffee – morning, day, or night.
Feature Image Source: Coffee by acekreations