A healthy liver is a happy liver, and if you want to keep your lil bile secreter happy (we’re not talking about your Twitter alt here), Science says you should be drinking coffee. Any kind of coffee: regular, decaf, half-caf, three-quarter caf, you name it. A new study finds that drinking three to four cups of coffee daily is linked to a significantly lower risk of developing and dying from a variety of liver diseases.
We’ve reported previously on health benefits coffee consumption has on the ole alcohol filterer, and this most recent study—published Tuesday, June 22nd in the journal BMC Public Health—shows more of an omnibus benefit on the liver. For the study, researchers from the University of Southampton in England led by Dr. Oliver Kennedy examined the daily coffee consumption habits of nearly half a million individuals in the UK Biobank, “a biomedical database and research resource [that] followed [participants] for nearly a dozen years,” per CNN. When cross-referencing coffee habits with instances of liver disease, researchers found those who daily drank three to four cups of coffee—regular or decaf—were “21% less likely to develop chronic liver disease, 20% less likely to develop chronic or fatty liver disease, and 49% less likely to die from chronic liver disease than non-coffee drinkers.”
In breaking down those findings by coffee type, Dr. Kennedy et al found that, while instant coffee provided some benefit, ground coffee had a higher efficacy rate. Researchers proffer that the difference may be due to ground coffee possessing higher levels of kahweol and cafestol, antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
“Coffee is widely accessible, and the benefits we see from our study may mean it could offer a potential preventative treatment for chronic liver disease,” said study author Dr. Oliver Kennedy… in a statement. “This would be especially valuable in countries with lower income and worse access to healthcare and where the burden of chronic liver disease is highest.”
Turns out, your liver has known all along a fundamental truth of the universe: coffee, all coffee, is good. So if you’re one of those awful “death before decaf” people, you may just get your wish, because coffee is for livers.