That morning cup of coffee that many of us look forwards to really adds the jolt we need to start our day. Heck, there's a good reason why chains like Starbucks are found on many street corners these days. But aside from the delicious taste and mental perkiness it offers, coffee may help with your health. A new study has found that it's linked to a reduced risk of cirrhosis, a damaged liver often caused by alcohol abuse.
The study analyzed data from over 430,000 people and nine reports to determine whether there was a link between decreased risk of cirrhosis and regular coffee intake. The results were simple: the more coffee that people drink, the lower their risk of cirrhosis is.
But by how much?
According to the study, persons who drink between one and two cups per day have a reduced risk by 22-43%. Drinking three to four cups per day has been linked to a reduced risk by 57-65%. If you are an alcoholic, the study found that two cups per day could reduce the risk by 38% (this does not mean you should drink as you please and then resort to coffee).
Why Coffee Reduces The Risk
The simple answer is: antioxidants. Coffee happens to be rich in them. They work to eradicate free radicals (damaged cells) and also to repair damaged cells while reducing inflammation. It is important to note that just because you drink coffee does not mean you have a hall pass to drink as much alcohol as you like. It won't be able to repair all of the damage that you cause to your liver, and it won't be able to prevent damage from binge drinking or over consumption, either.
But it is nice to know that our morning cup of joe is actually good for us in more ways than just helping us to wake up before our morning commute to work. Sure, coffee may be able to help reverse some liver damage. But it is not your end-all, be-all if you are a heavy drinker. Moderation is the key here. Heavy drinkers tend to suffer from a myriad of alcohol related issues that can include heart disease and cancer, something coffee won't help you out much with.
So drink more coffee, it could help your liver. Just be sure to keep some fresh water nearby to neutralize the acids every few sips, so you can save that precious enamel on your teeth (your dentist and your wallet will thank you later).