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Month: October 2018
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Cirrhosis, or chronic liver disease, is a serious condition and a leading cause of death among people all over the world. To prevent it, new research recommends that we simply take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea!
Good news to lovers of coffee and tea, me included!
New research, published in the Journal of Hepatology, adds a couple of new preventive factors to the list: tea and coffee. A team of scientists led by Sarwa Darwish Murad, Ph.D., a hepatologist at the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, set out to examine the impact of coffee and tea consumption on liver health.
The study revealed that frequent coffee and herbal tea consumption consistently correlated with a significantly lower risk of liver stiffness. These results were independent of lifestyle factors or BMI.
Additionally, the researchers found that the beneficial effect of coffee on liver stiffness could be seen both in participants who had a fatty liver and those who did not. This indicated to the authors that frequent coffee and tea intake may prevent liver fibrosis long before the signs of liver disease start to appear.
When your body digests caffeine, it makes a chemical called paraxanthine that slows the growth of the scar tissue involved in fibrosis. That may help fight liver cancer, alcohol-related cirrhosis, non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease, and hepatitis C.
Two chemicals in coffee,kahweol and cafestol, may help fight cancer. Doctors aren’t sure how powerful the effect is, but some think moderate amounts of unsweetened coffee could work alongside the main treatments for the most common kind of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma.
Acids in coffee may work against the virus that causes hepatitis B. One study found that decaf coffee could have the same benefit.
Studies have found that coffee helps men and women equally. And the benefits show up no matter how the coffee is made — filtered, instant, or espresso.
Doctors think coffee might become an important weapon in the fight against liver disease. After all, it’s easy to get and doesn’t have to cost much.
But at this point, doctors don’t know enough to recommend any specific amount. And coffee may not be for everyone. Even though it might help your liver, it may raise your chances of other conditions.
For example, some chemicals in it may raise your cholesterol level or blood pressure. That could be a caution sign for:
People with high blood pressure
Children and teens
No matter how good coffee might be for you, the key to taking care of your liver is still your lifestyle. Eat healthy food, go easy on the alcohol, watch your weight, and get regular exercise.