Study Says Drinking Coffee Might Undo Liver Damage From Booze

mbg Contributor By Emi Boscamp
mbg Contributor
Emi Boscamp is the former News Editor at mindbodygreen. She received a BA in English and minors in Spanish and Art History from Cornell University.

Photo by Stocksy

Coffee: the magical elixir. Not only does it keep you from nodding off in the middle of a meeting, it may also improve your brain function, boost your metabolism and help you burn fat, improve athletic performance, improve male bedroom performance, lower your risk for type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and decrease your overall risk of dying.

And if that wasn't enough of an excuse to keep on with your coffee addiction, a new meta-study suggests that it may also lower your risk of liver damage from overdoing it on the booze.

No wonder we crave it so badly when we're hungover ...

Researchers from the University of Southampton pooled together data from nine studies with a total of more than 430,000 participants — of which 1,990 had liver cirrhosis — and found that drinking coffee everyday was linked to a significantly lower risk of developing the disease.

Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring of the liver that claims the lives of over a million people worldwide every year. Its best-known cause is long-term alcoholism, but it can also be caused by chronic viral hepatitis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, bile duct disease, and some genetic diseases, according to the American Liver Foundation.

Coffee's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects seem to pack a real punch; compared with not drinking coffee at all, consuming one cup o' joe led to a 22% lower risk of cirrhosis. And it only gets better: with two cups, the risk dropped by 43%, 57% with three cups, and 65% with four.

Does that mean we can slam as many shots as we want, knowing that we can just repair the damage in the morning? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's a meta-study, which means that there could be many biases and variables that skew the results over that big a sample size and that long a time.

But hey, if you enjoy drinking two, three, or even four cups of the good stuff a day, keep doing you. It can't hurt, right?

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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