Research shows that drinking coffee may lower the risks of alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver and higher levels of liver damaging enzymes. To determine whether drinking coffee can protect against alcohol-related liver disease, researchers assessed alcohol and coffee use in 125,580 adults without liver disease at study entry and identified cases of cirrhosis over an average of 14 years. Medical records confirmed that 199 subjects had alcoholic cirrhosis and 131 had nonalcoholic cirrhosis.

Results of the study;

The risk of alcoholic cirrhosis was significantly lower in coffee drinkers than in non-coffee drinkers (up to 4 cups of coffee per day).

Drinking coffee daily was generally associated with a significantly lower risk of higher liver damaging enzymes, especially in subjects who drank more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day.

Drinking coffee was not significantly associated with non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

Conclusion:

This interesting study shows that drinking coffee potentially protects against alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

Of course, the best way to prevent alcoholic cirrhosis remains adhering to lower-risk drinking limits or abstaining from alcohol if altogether. 

Reference: Klatsky AL, Morton C, Udaltsova N, et al. Coffee, cirrhosis, and transaminase enzymes. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(11):1190–1195.

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