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Coffee Good For Livers Damaged By Booze: Study

We suddenly have a new appreciation for Irish coffees.

Coffee has long been credited for protecting against heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes and even some types of cancer. And now scientists say a cup of joe can even help reduce liver damage caused by drinking too much alcohol.

According to researchers at Southampton University in the U.K, nine previous studies that have been conducted all show a 44 per cent lowered risk of liver cirrhosis among the 430,000 participants who consumed two cups of coffee a day. The more coffee the participants drank, the greater the decline.

The Canadian Liver Foundation describes liver cirrhosis as a condition resulting from scarring and permanent damage of the liver. It can lead to a block in blood flow and affects metabolic and regulatory processes. Causes of liver cirrhosis include alcoholism, viral infections, inherited diseases, toxic hepatitis and metabolic disease.

While coffee does appear to reduce the risk of cirrhosis, medical experts also highly recommend ceasing alcohol intake upon diagnosis to prevent further damage to the liver.

Dr. Oliver Kennedy, lead author in the Southampton University study, told Reuters cirrhosis is still potentially fatal, as there is currently no cure for the disease.

And while the studies' findings appear promising, Kennedy says there are still questions as to how the coffee leads to a healthier liver. As noted in the video above, previous studies have only suggested that it is not the caffeine causing the positive change. Factors like bean type and brewing methods have yet to be investigated for how they may affect the healing process.

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