Many studies in the past have linked coffee drinking with better liver health, but new research suggests that it’s not caffeine that is doing the trick.
According to researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute led by Dr. Qian Xiao, drinking coffee at least three cups daily can improve the overall health of the liver. What’s peculiar about the findings of the study was that even those who drank decaffeinated coffee also exhibited the same positive effects. “These data suggest that ingredients in coffee, other than caffeine, may promote liver health,” said Xiao in a news release.
The study looked into about 28,000 U.S. residents at least 20 years old. The respondents were asked about their coffee intake, and subjected to blood tests to check the level of enzymes directly linked to liver condition. Results showed that regular coffee drinkers — whether caffeinated or not — were found to have lower enzyme levels, which meant that their livers were running in good condition.
The study proponents recommend more research to look into the active ingredients behind coffee’s liver-protecting capability against alcohol-related diseases. “Further studies are needed to identify these components,” Xiao added.