Is Coffee Helpful Or Harmful To The Liver?
Have you ever gone on a detox diet and given up coffee? Do you know if coffee is safe for those with a liver condition? If you love coffee, I have good news for you; it can be extremely beneficial for liver health and overall health.
According to the Canadian Liver Foundation, coffee has the following benefits for your liver:
- Improves abnormal liver function blood tests, including elevated ALT, AST and GGT.
- Reduces the risk of fatty liver disease by improving insulin sensitivity. This means it reduces the risk of insulin resistance.
- Improves the response to treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus.
- Reduces the risk of cirrhosis due to alcohol or viral hepatitis because it reduces liver scarring.
- Reduces the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
In 2017 researchers studied more than 185 thousand individuals in Hawaii and Los Angeles. They discovered a link between daily coffee intake and a reduced risk of death from all causes. In particular, the coffee drinkers had a lower risk of the following diseases:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Respiratory disease
Compared to people who never or only rarely drank coffee, individuals who drank one cup a day had a 12 percent lower risk of death. People who drank three cups of coffee daily had an 18 percent lower mortality risk. Interestingly, the results were identical for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. The benefits applied to African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and Caucasians. These are quite extraordinary benefits! Several studies have been done on coffee and most show the beneficial dose required is 3 cups a day. Coffee is high in polypenols, which are a type of powerful antioxidant.
Gary Fagan is the president of the Canadian Liver Foundation, a health charity that supports education and research in liver disease. He made the following statement: “There is now significant evidence that coffee can help prevent liver disease with scientists learning and discovering more each day. Since many do not discover that they have liver disease until it reaches an advanced stage, it’s good to know that their daily coffee may actually be helping as opposed to hurting their livers”.
Liver disease often remains hidden until it reaches an advanced stage. That is why I recommend everyone asks their doctor for a liver function test every year, to check on the health of this vital organ. This is especially critical if you experience symptoms of liver damage, such as indigestion, abdominal bloating, bad breath, fatigue and an inability to lose weight.
If you’re a coffee lover, it’s good to know you don’t have to give up your favourite beverage if you have a liver condition. It does depend how you drink coffee though. The beans are very good for your health; what is added to the mug may not be. There’s a big difference between a long or short black and an iced coffee with cream, ice-cream and caramel syrup! Don’t undo the benefits by adding a lot of sugar, creamer (usually contains seed oils) and artificial additives. Some popular coffee drinks contain the same amount of calories as a meal and are usually far less satiating. If you need to sweeten your coffee, try adding Nature Sweet; it is all natural and calorie free.
Not everyone enjoys coffee, and some people with anxiety or a heart condition feel unwell after drinking it. Some people with gut health problems don’t tolerate coffee well; it gives them diarrhea. If you need to work on improving your liver health, you can download a free ebook with my liver diet HERE.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.