Coffee is already pretty well – known as one of the healthier beverages out there. This is why these days coffee shops are always so crowded and espresso – based drinks (latte, cappuccino, etc) are very popular.
One of the often stated health benefits of regularly drinking coffee is that it improves your liver’s health and prevents / fights liver diseases.
Is this true? How exactly does coffee prevent liver problems? If so, how much coffee should you drink? Read till the end to find out the answers to these questions and more!
What Does Coffee Do For Your Liver Health?
Drinking a daily cup of joe is hypothesised to greatly improve liver health and reduce your risk of developing several dangerous liver diseases. In fact, one study found that regularly drinking coffee can lead to up to a 65% reduction in your risk of experiencing liver problems.
Liver diseases which could potentially be avoided by consuming coffee include:
- Liver cancer
- Fibrosis – formation of scar tissues within your liver, brought about by conditions such as hepatitis and regular consumption of alcohol
- Cirrhosis – an extreme form of fibrosis where your liver could hardly perform its functions
- Non alcoholic fatty liver disease – the over – storage of fats in your liver cells, which inhibits its overall performance and functioning
How Does Coffee Prevent Liver Diseases?
Coffee contains thousands of different chemical compounds in them. Not all of them have been thoroughly researched, but some of those that were studied seem to have overall positive effects on your liver:
- Caffeine: when you ingest caffeine, your body creates a chemical compound known as paraxanthine. This chemical is responsible for slowing down the growth of scar tissues in your liver, thus reducing your risk of developing fibrosis. They also possibly help prevent cirrhosis, non alcohol related fatty liver disease, hepatitis C, and liver cancer.
- Cafestol And Kahweol: these chemicals help in fighting liver cancer. More research is required, but it seems that both compounds when working in tandem with more common cancer treatments can help combat hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.
- Acids: coffee, both regular and decaf, contain a bunch of different acids that can help in fighting hepatitis B
How Much Coffee Should You Drink To Prevent Liver Disease?
The widely accepted consensus is that the average person should not drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, and never more than 200 milligrams per sitting. This is to prevent you from developing symptoms associated with caffeine overdose including insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and anxiety.
However, the 400 mg daily max number is just an average; your body may be able to tolerate more or less caffeine per day. Always listen to your body first and make sure to stop or reduce caffeine consumption if any symptoms materialise.
Can Coffee Be Counter – Productive In Protecting Your Liver?
To put it simply, coffee is not for everyone. Each person has a different caffeine tolerance and their bodies may react differently to consuming coffee. Yes, it might help improve liver health, but it may also cause other just as bad conditions.
Doctors recommend the following people are advised to avoid coffee or heavily limit their daily consumption amount:
- Pregnant women
- People with sensitive stomachs
- Young children and teenagers
- Old people above 65+ years old
- People suffering from high blood pressure
- Patients with high cholesterol levels
If you fall into one of these categories but still want to improve your liver’s health, there are other ways to do so. You can start by improving your diet and eating balanced meals, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, managing weight, and getting hepatitis vaccinations.