The link between drinking coffee and a healthy liver has been well established by science—and equally well covered by us here at Sprudge. Nonetheless, the depths of the connection between coffee and liver health have yet to be fully plumbed and new discoveries continue to solidify the link. And a new study does just that, finding that coffee consumption is linked with less liver stiffness.
Liver stiffness is a measurement of, well, the stiffness of the liver. In general, a stiff liver is not good and puts you at higher risk of fibrosis and liver disease, potentially even full blow liver failure.
Published recently in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a new study by researchers from the Harvard Medical School, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Michigan sought to examine what effect, if any, coffee had on this measurement. Using information from over 4,500 individuals from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), all of whom had undergone an elastography exam to check the liver for fibrosis.
Per the American Journal of Managed Care, the researchers took into account each participants’ “age, gender, ethnicity, and data on alcohol consumption, vigorous physical activity, and more.” When cross-referencing against coffee consumption, researchers found that those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were associated with a lower liver stiffness measurement (LSM).
In fact, coffee was the only drink they tested that “remained independently associated with LSM.” This includes decaffeinated coffee and tea. Additionally—and somewhat paradoxically—caffeine “was not significantly associated with LSM at any dose.”
At this point the evidence is overwhelming enough that I, a very scientific person (read: not scientific at all but at least not one of those “did my own research” people), am willing to call it: drinking coffee is good for your liver—in some way, somehow, probably in multiple ways. So drink up. It’s for your liver.