Is Decaf Coffee Good for your Liver?
Does Decaf Coffee have any Impact on the Liver?
Is Decaf Coffee Good for your Liver?
Every morning we reach out for a cup of coffee to get over the mid-afternoon slump. But have you imagined decaf coffee might have other useful benefits? Doctors say the liver is one of the most important organs in the body. The organ produces bile that breaks down fat.
It also produces some proteins that are important for your blood as well as transport some important fat cells. Most importantly, your liver does a lot of detoxification of your blood. Have you ever imagined how your morning coffee intake affects your liver?
Or is decaf coffee bad for you?
Coffee and fatty liver disease
Coffee generally is one of the most popular beverages in the world. As a result, there is a lot of research trying to find the benefits of taking the drink. As of now, most of these researchers believe coffee is good for the liver.
Doctors particularly believe that coffee (make sure to check out our decaf coffee bags) can help with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This is a condition that occurs when there is too much fat in the liver cells. The disease is a common one as it affects 1 in 4 persons in the US.
In most cases, it occurs in people that have excess weight, high cholesterol levels or diabetes. If not well managed on time, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to scarring of the liver or cirrhosis. This can cause either liver failure or liver cancer.
However, research has shown that people that drink coffee are at less risk of developing the disease. Furthermore, coffee seems to protect people that already have issues with their liver.
Scientists believe that people with hepatitis C, a similar condition that can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis, can benefit immensely from taking coffee.
When people who already have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease take coffee, they reduce their chances of developing cirrhosis. If eventually, they develop cirrhosis, people who drink coffee are less likely to die from the condition.
Is decaffeinated coffee good for your liver?
There are several arguments about the benefits of decaf coffee. For many years, people have believed that all the benefits of coffee are due to its caffeine. Recently, however, all that changes.
Some researchers for the US national institute of cancer published a study that suggests that drinking coffee generally decaf or not, is good for the liver. This suggests that there is something in coffee that offers benefits to the liver other than its caffeine.
The rate of coffee consumption in Europe and the United States is high. According to the US National Coffee Association, more than half the population of adults in the US takes an average of three cups of coffee daily in 2010.
According to the association, the value has been on the rise by a yearly increase of 1% every year since the 1980s.
Studies in the past showed that coffee could have positive protective effects on the liver. Also, these studies show that drinking coffee can reduce the risks of people developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
However, with the evidence available from the past, one cannot say if all the benefits apply to decaffeinated coffee as well.
According to the lead researcher, Dr Qian Xiao from the National Cancer Institute, "prior research found that drinking coffee may protect the liver. However, the evidence did not clearly state if the benefit extends to decaffeinated coffee."
However, the recent study was published in the Hepatology Journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. In the research, researchers sourced their data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey included 27, 793 participants who were at least 20 years old at the time. All those in the study provided their coffee intake for 24 hours.
The research team then measured blood levels that are important markers of liver function. This includes values like alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma-glutamyl transaminase (GGT) aminotransferase (ALT), and, aminotransferase (AST).
People who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had lower levels of ALP, GGT, ALT, AST and ALP compare with those who do not take any coffee. The researchers also noticed that there were very low levels of these enzymes in the liver of those that drink only decaf coffee.
The research link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels. It also suggests that there are other ingredients asides from the caffeine in coffee that might be responsible for promoting liver health. At the moment, there are still no studies to identify those components.
Coffee recommendations for good liver health
Now that you know how healthy coffee can be for your liver, how much coffee do you need to keep your liver in good shape?
Experts say you need at least 3 cups of coffee every day to keep liver problems aways. In a situation where you already have a serious liver condition like fatty liver disease or hepatitis, you might want to take as many as four, five or seven cups a day to help you. Preferably, take it black with no sugar or cream. That's better because most people with fatty liver diseases are usually obese or with diabetes.
But then, not everyone has the same tolerance for coffee. In such high doses, coffee may trigger headache, anxiety, jitters and insomnia in some people. Therefore, you should take what you feel your body can tolerate.
If you have heart problems, too much coffee might be dangerous for you. You might also not be able to take coffee if you have lung cancer. If you fall in such categories, please speak with your doctor before taking coffee.
Drinking decaf coffee is one of the best ways you can help keep your liver healthy. If you love decaffeinated coffee, it's like taking your best food to cure a disease. However, to see results, you need to do more than just take coffee.
Vaccinate yourself against hepatitis A and B which can destroy your liver. Also, ensure to combine your coffee drinking with a balanced diet. Limit your intake of alcohol as it can destroy your liver permanently.
That said, coffee is not some magic potion you drink to revive your liver. However, it can be a satisfying way to get your liver healthier than it was before.