Coffee protects the liver from alcohol damage
Drinking coffee protects the liver, researchers from California report. In a study, they found that the pick-me-up reduces the risk of alcohol-related liver cirrhosis.
As part of their survey, Arthur Klatsky and his colleagues asked 125,580 people about their daily drinking habits of tea, water, coffee and alcohol and also took blood from some of them. Between 1978 and 1985 none of the participants had shown signs of liver disease. By the end of 2001, 330 of the participants had been diagnosed with cirrhosis - 199 cases with alcoholic cirrhosis.
By analyzing drinking habits, the researchers found that for every cup of coffee drunk per day, the likelihood of alcohol-related cirrhosis decreased by 22 percent. Risk reductions were also seen for other types of cirrhosis, the report said. In addition, blood test results showed higher levels of certain enzymes in people who consumed more alcohol, which indicate liver damage or disease. In coffee drinkers, on the other hand, these enzyme values were significantly lower than in those who despised coffee.
However, it is not the caffeine that seems to develop this protective effect: no corresponding effect was found with tea containing caffeine. Of course, the scientists warn against drinking coffee to prevent liver cirrhosis – the best protection against it is still a correspondingly low alcohol consumption.