How Coffee and Tea Affect the Liver

A fascinating new study has produced some interesting results regarding the correlation between coffee and liver disease, especially cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is most often caused by high alcohol consumption and a diet high in fat and low in nutrients. When our liver is under stress from unhealthy lifestyle choices, scarring occurs, also called hepatic fibrosis. Having progressive fibrosis causes a high risk of developing cirrhosis later in life.cups of coffee and tea

The study

The Journal of Hepatology has published the new findings of the research conducted by Dr. Sarwa Darwish Murad, Ph.D., and a team of scientists. Dr. Murad was interested in finding out if coffee and tea had any effect, good or bad, on liver function. He used the data compiled from a large study involving over 2 thousand participants, all over the age of 45. Each participant received a full examination of their body in order to collect their BMI and the condition of the liver.

The liver of each participant was examined to gauge the level of stiffness, which can indicate damage that can ultimately lead to cirrhosis. The participants provided information about their eating and drinking habits, especially regarding tea and coffee consumption. Those who drank none were grouped into the first category, those who consumed moderate amounts of tea and coffee made up the next, and those who consumed a high amount of tea and coffee comprised the third and final group.

Dr. Murad and his team then looked for a correlation between the participants’ liver stiffness and the amount of coffee and tea they consumed.

The results

Dr. Murad's study found that regular coffee and herbal tea consumption was highly correlated with low levels of liver stiffness, and therefore, low risk of liver diseases like cirrhosis. The BMI and lifestyles of the participants were also taken into consideration as lifestyles and general health also has a great effect on the condition of the liver.

Of course, a healthy lifestyle with lots of exercises, proper sleep, low alcohol and highly nutritious diet are the best ways to avoid liver complications. But, as this study has shown, there are habits than can help our liver along the way.

However, it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you should plunge into drinking a lot of coffee and tea.

- Don't go drinking multiple cups of coffee a day if you aren’t used to it, the caffeine could upset your gut and cause sleeplessness.

- Try adding herbal tea into your diet if coffee doesn't appeal to you.

- For coffee drinkers, keep enjoying your daily coffees, but try to opt for black coffee without sugar, as this will help keep fats and calories to a minimum.