Update on What Science Says About the Effects of Coffee on the Liver
Apparently, coffee not just relieves hangover after a drinking spree. It actually protects the liver from the tissue damage from alcohol and other toxic substances.
A systematic review of published studies on the effects of coffee on the liver was conducted. The studies spanned a period of 26 years, from 1986 to 2012. It involved over 500,000 participants from all around the globe. Results showed that regular coffee intake decreased the risk for all the medical conditions evaluated in the studies – elevation of liver enzymes, liver cirrhosis (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and cancer of the liver.
Among the components of coffee that are believed to be responsible for these health benefits are caffeine, cafestol, and kahweol. Caffeine prevents scarring and adhesion of liver tissues (antifibrotic effect) and prevents development of cancer cells by increasing antioxidant activities. Cafestol and kahweol, though they do not have antifibrotic properties, contribute through their anti-cancer action. Like caffeine, they induce the production and action of enzymes and other bio-active substances that fight cancer cells.
This review reinforces the many health benefits associated with coffee. Researchers have shown that coffee decreases the risks for certain health issues like:
Coffee has also been shown to improve athletic performance and improve motor function.
The old notion that coffee that coffee is bad for the health no longer holds true in light of recent advances in scientific research. We now see coffee for it truly is – a super beverage, both in taste and in health benefits.