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Ask Dr. Nandi: Can more coffee lead to less liver damage? Study finds link

Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-22 09:39:23-04

Many people love their morning coffee as it wakes them up and gets them going. But coffee may do more than just perk you up, it could protect your liver if you drink alcohol.  

Rosemary Isabell Taylor from Brighton says: “I drink 2-4 cups a day, black. Am I safe from the 2-6 glasses of wine per week? Is there a ratio based on ounces?”

Well Rosemary, the amount of coffee and alcohol you drink fall within the general guidelines for most adults. That’s assuming you’re not drinking more than 5 ounces of wine a day which is the recommendation for women.

Men can have two drinks a day.  

Now researchers analyzed several studies and found drinking two cups of coffee a day could cut the odds of liver cirrhosis by 44 percent. And four cups of coffee a day was linked to a 65 percent lowered risk.  

So that’s good news because liver disease is a silent killer, meaning you’ll likely have no symptoms until the liver is damaged extensively.  

If you’re going to add in a bunch of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, creamer, butter and ice cream, than you might end up wiping out the potential health benefits you may have gained.  And you could open up another door to heart and cardiovascular issues.  

Now the researchers didn’t look into why coffee might help with cirrhosis, but it does have antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties.  

And when the caffeine is digested, a chemical is created that can slow down the growth of scar tissue which may help fight liver cancer.  

But you’re not going to undo years of hard drinking. Rarely can you reverse cirrhosis. But there’s some evidence that if you have cirrhosis, coffee may slow down the progression.  

You can drink filtered, instant, or espresso and I’d recommend you keep the added flavorings to a bare minimum.