Reduce Liver Damage with a Cup of Coffee

Happy New Year everyone!

For all of you that brought in the new year with a “few” alcoholic beverages and are also coffee lovers, I have great news for you!  Researchers have found that coffee actually counteracts alcohol’s harmful effects on the liver and prevents liver cirrhosis.  Now that is something to drink to!

The liver is a vital organ in our bodies and is responsible for up to 500 separate functions (usually in combination with other systems).  Without it, you would not be able to survive.  Because of its locations and numerous functions, the liver is prone to many diseases, such as cirrhosis, alcohol damage, hepatitis A, B, C, E, cancer, and drug damage.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), chronic liver disease or cirrhosis takes the lives of over 29,000 people in just the Unites States.  Additionally, liver cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death among men, and ninth most common cause of cancer death among women.  This is why it is so important to decrease your chances of liver damage, which can be done with coffee.

One Japanese study looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and liver cancer in middle-aged and elderly people.  Those who drank coffee daily, or close to it, decreased their chances of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer, by half!  More specifically, among daily coffee drinkers the liver cancer rate was over 200 cases per 100,000 people over 10 years.  Whereas, the rate of liver cancer in people who never drank coffee increased to 550 cases per 100,000 people.  Therefore, the more coffee consumed, then the lower the HCC risk.

Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in California conducted a study on more than 125,000 and reported that there was a 22 percent daily reduction of liver cirrhosis risk from alcohol with every cup of coffee consumed.  

Several studies, including the one above, show that drinking coffee lowers the levels of serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) activity, especially in heavy alcohol drinkers.  GGT is not the best test, but is widely used as a marker of alcohol intake and liver damage.  Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity is a more reliable marker for alcohol-related hepatic cell injury than GGT.  Both GGT and ALT were found to have an inverse relationship with coffee consumption.

One study conducted by Freedman found that regular coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of fibrosis progression (scarring of the liver) in patients with advanced hepatitis C virus (HCV) related liver disease who did not respond to peginterferon and ribavirin treatment.  This study also found evidence that suggests that caffeine intake may lower necroinflammatory injury in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Additionally, evidence demonstrates that coffee drinkers have healthier results on blood tests used to measure liver function compared to non-coffee drinkers.  

However, this does not mean you can drink more alcohol  if you drink coffee.  Always remember to drink responsibly.

So increase your health and reduce your risk of liver disease today with a cup of Black River Roasters coffee!


If you would like to read more about this, please check out the links below of the articles I used.

Coffee Consumption and Decreased Serum Gamma-Glutamyltranferase and Aminotransferase Activities Among Male Alcohol Drinkers by Tanaka

Association of Caffeine Intake and Histological Features of Chronic Hepatitis C by Costentin

Coffee, Liver Enzymes, Cirrhosis, and Liver Cancer by Vecchia

Coffee: Good, Bad, or Just Fun? A Critical Review of Coffee's Effects on Liver Enzymes by Homan