People who drink any type of coffee are less likely to develop chronic liver disease, fatty liver disease, or die from liver disease.
Drinking any type of coffee — no matter if it is caffeinated or decaf, instant or ground coffee — has been linked to lowering the odds of liver disease and related liver problems.
According to a study, drinking three or four cups of coffee will promote liver health condition and lower the risk of developing long-term liver disease and death compared to non-coffee drinkers.
The researchers analysed data from the UK Biobank on half a million people and followed them for almost 11 years to see if any of the participants developed liver disease or related liver problems.
Coffee drinkers were 21 percent less likely to develop chronic liver disease, 20 percent less likely to develop fatty liver disease, and 49 percent less likely to die from liver disease than those non-coffee drinkers.
Those who drank ground coffee (including espresso) saw the maximum effect.
Ground coffee is rich in cafestol and kahweol, which have been found to have a protective effect on the liver.
Instant coffee contains low levels of these two ingredients, however, the reduced risk was also seen in instant coffee drinkers to some extent.
This possibly indicates that besides cafestol and kahweol, other ingredients in coffee have some beneficial effects.
Dr Oliver Kennedy, the study’s first author, said:
“Coffee is widely accessible and the benefits we see from our study may mean it could offer a potential preventative treatment for chronic liver disease.
This would be especially valuable in countries with lower income and worse access to healthcare and where the burden of chronic liver disease is highest.”
The research team noted that the study’s participants were mostly white with higher socioeconomic status therefore it would be hard to generalize these findings to different populations.
The study was published in the journal BMC Public Health (Kennedy et al., 2021).