Most people don’t think about how critical it is to protect your liver – until the liver stops working. Before we dive in, grab a cup of coffee. In fact, grab two! Your body will thank you!
A lot of us don’t begin to function without a blast of caffeine to get us going. Some don’t feel “human” without it. For those of you who don’t consider a morning “started” without a cup or two, you’ll be happy to know that research has emerged that shows coffee can protect your liver and may even boost overall health!
The Hardworking Liver
While not as beloved as your brain, your liver is responsible for more than 500 bodily tasks. The most important of these is filtering toxins and dead cells from your blood. Every time your heart beats, 25% of your blood is being cleaned.
Your liver is a crucial organ and is even capable of regenerating itself. A parent can donate half of their liver to a child needing a transplant and both parts will grow back into complete, fully functioning structures.
Many of your body’s vital processes happen in your liver…
- Waste products that your kidneys cannot handle are removed.
- Bile is created which helps break down fats and metabolize crucial fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, F, and K.
- Excess hormones are eliminated and electrolyte balances are maintained.
- Glucose levels are balanced.
“Fascinating,” you think as you refill your cup, “but what does this have to do with my coffee?”
The Other Liver Disease
The answer is wonderfully simple science. A new study conducted by the Duke University School of Medicine along with researchers form the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School has indicated that increasing your intake of caffeine can reduce fatty liver in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects between 20-30% of the population. This is you’re your liver consists of 5-10% fat. Untreated, non-alcoholic liver disease can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver. The symptoms are similar to its cousin cirrhosis, commonly caused by alcohol abuse.
The only cure for a liver this far gone is a transplant.
Prevent Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Naturally
Until recently, the only options to treat NAFLD were the old standbys of a balanced, low-fat diet and exercise. The options expanded with the Duke University Study.
Along with improving liver function, coffee and caffeine intake has been shown to reduce the risk of fibrosis in individuals with fatty liver disease.
However, though caffeine is good to treat NAFLD and protect your liver, the delivery system is crucial. One of the jobs your liver performs is cleaning out toxins such as the chemical dyes and artificial sweeteners found in sodas. There are literally hundreds of studies attesting to the dangers of sodas to your overall health – and diet sodas are even worse for you.
Coffee and tea, especially green tea, are excellent choices. They’re natural and contain few artificial ingredients. The goal is to help your liver, not to give it more work.
Consider your morning coffee a dose of daily “medication” you take for your liver. Having a fatty liver is linked to obesity and increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. All you’re doing is protecting yourself – with something that tastes delicious.
That’s what you can tell anyone who dares to question you.
Your morning cup of java can serve as far more than an eye-opener. It can help lower your risk of many dreaded medical conditions and protect your liver.
Of course, coffee alone isn’t the answer to staying fit. Healthy diet choices, quality sleep, and regular exercise are important and necessary to living a longer, stronger life.
However, we won’t discuss these things until after you’ve had your coffee.