People who drink a couple of cups of coffee each day have a lower risk of cirrhosis of the liver.
Chalk up another benefit to downing your favourite morning brew: Drinking coffee may protect your liver, research from the University of Southampton in the U.K. found.
After analyzing data on 432,000 people from 5 separate studies, the researchers concluded that people who drank one cup of coffee a day were 22 percent less likely to develop cirrhosis—scarring of the liver that eventually causes it to fail—than those who didn’t drink any.
And the more coffee they consumed, the better their livers fared: People who drank two cups a day were 43 percent less likely to get the disease, while those who drank four cups a day had a 65 percent lower risk of it.
The study didn’t separate between decaf and regular coffee. But it’s likely that the caffeine does play a protective role, says study author Oliver Kennedy, M.D.
Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors in your body, which are responsible for activating certain liver cells that lay down scar tissue. If this process is hindered, scar tissue—and eventually cirrhosis—may be less likely to occur, he says.
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