Coffee drinkers might be feeling the benefits of a few cups a day on their livers, according to a new study.
Drinking more than two cups of java per day could harm your teeth colorings in the long run, but researchers in Australia say it can help protect your liver and even prevent liver-related deaths.
The study, published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, used data from the Global Burden of Disease in 2016 to figure out how coffee effects liver-related mortality.
This isn’t the first study to find that drinking two cups of coffee daily can have surprising health benefits. The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston published a study recently that found that coffee’s effects can promote healthier gut microbiotas, meaning coffee drinkers have better bacteria in their guts. Other benefits of coffee include its ability linked to fighting diabetes via improving blood sugar control.
But Sarah Gardner, an author of this latest study, and colleagues compared previous studies that suggested coffee can help fight liver disease, but how much remained a question.
“[Previous research] demonstrated a 46% reduction in death from liver cirrhosis for people assessed at study entry as drinking [two to three cups per day]; and a 71% reduction in death from cirrhosis in those consuming [four] or more cups daily,” researchers wrote, via Healio. “The potential global health impact of coffee intake being advocated as a liver health therapy has not previously been explored and mathematical modelling is one way of exploring the potential impact of novel population-level interventions.”
Using data from the Global Burden of Disease 2016 data set from 194 countries, researchers took a look at how coffee consumption could affect liver mortality globally. They ran tests first looking at the effects of two cups of coffee and more than four cups of coffee per day.
Researchers discovered that if countries had increased coffee intake from less than two or more than two cups daily. In 2016, two cups of coffee a day could have resulted in 630,947 liver-related deaths and 452,861 deaths prevented. If the intake was upped to more than four cups per day, the number would have been 360,523 deaths and 723,287 deaths prevented.
“If the impact of coffee on liver-related mortality shown in cohort studies is confirmed in clinical trials, increasing per capita coffee consumption to more than two cups per capita per day on a population level has the potential to avert hundreds of thousands of deaths from liver disease annually,” researchers wrote. “Further research is urgently needed to confirm the benefits and cost-effectiveness of coffee on liver-related mortality.”
Coffee seems to offer a two-way street in terms of benefits and possible harms. Studies have found that it can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even some cancers. However, other research has found that it could contribute to bladder and pancreatic cancer and even esophageal cancer. For the latter, it’s because hot temperatures could increase the chances of cancer developing. Additionally, minor side effects such as anxiety and sleep impairment have always been linked to a fresh brew.
Coffee also has a weird effect on your brain in the buildup to consuming a cup. James Carter from Coffe Direct told Ladders that the anticipation, preparation, aroma, taste, and aftermath play crucial roles.
“After you have finished your first cup of coffee, you should achieve a state of peak performance. The caffeine will block the inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as adenosine, which would otherwise make us feel sleepy and increases the levels of feel-good chemical dopamine. Therefore, you will notice an increased alertness and an improved mood,” Carter said.