Our liver is vital to life and is the largest internal organ in the body. It performs many different functions for the body, including processing digested food and nutrients from the intestine, eliminating toxins from the bloodstream, and manufacturing proteins and enzymes responsible for the body’s chemical reactions. The complexity of the liver makes it susceptible to different diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis and fatty liver disease.
Liver disease is an important health issue; liver cancer is one of the most common cancer around the world. It is also a major cause of cancer-related deaths globally.
Benefits of consuming coffee
Studies have proven that having a cup of morning coffee might lower the risks of liver disease. Through epidemiological evidence, studies in patients who suffer from a variety of liver diseases have found that moderate coffee consumption brought a positive effect on limiting the progression rate of the disease.
- Moderate amounts of coffee consumption may help to lessen the risk of liver cancer, and the risk of developing liver cancer reduces as coffee consumption increases.
- Patients with Hepatitis C who consumes more coffee, have a lower rate of disease progression as compared to those who drink lesser.
- Drinking coffee moderately may also be related to a slower progression rate of chronic liver disease. Those who drink higher amounts of coffee were found to show a milder course of fibrosis, particularly in patients with alcohol-related liver disease.
- Consumption of caffeine has been related to slower development of cirrhosis in patients who are scheduled to undergo liver biopsy.
- The association between moderate consumption of coffee and a slower rate of fibrosis were also seen in patients with cirrhosis, fibrosis, Hepatitis C and non-alcohol related liver disease.
Aside from caffeine, several coffee components are also investigated for their benefits with the liver. Naturally-occurring compounds found in coffee, such as cafestol and kahweol, have revealed anti-carcinogenic properties, while caffeic acids and chlorogenic display anti-viral characteristics.
However you drink coffee, be it espresso, filtered or instant, you should keep in mind to avoid adding too much milk or sugar to prevent any other health complications. It is important to also remember that despite the fact that drinking coffee may provide benefits and reduce the risk of developing liver disease, as well as lower the progression risk for those who already suffer from some degree of liver damage.
The key messages for good liver health continue to be the same, such as reducing the amount of alcohol consumption, keeping to healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, doing regular exercises, and drinking plenty of water.
Cases of fatty liver is also on a rise among the younger population, where there is an abnormal accumulation of fats in the liver cells. It is prevalent in those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You can talk to a gastroenterology specialist in Singapore to address any health concerns regarding your liver.