What 2 cups of coffee per day will do to your liver?
Most people can’t imagine their day without at least one cup of coffee. And while one cup is recommendable, what exactly two or more cups will do to your organs, more precise your liver?
There are several different types of liver diseases such as hepatitis, alcohol-related diseases, fatty liver disease and cancer. From all of these, liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths globally and is the leading cause of death amongst patients with liver cirrhosis.
The health effects of coffee can be controversial. Some believe that it is a healthy beverage, while others think it is harmful. However, coffee is high in antioxidants and is linked to a reduced risk of many diseases. It also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep. But, how many cups of coffee are enough in a day?
1 Liver Damage
The liver is a resilient organ and its tissue can be damaged or surgically removed before it no longer functions (up to 75%). Characterized by the organ’s slow deterioration and malfunction, liver cirrhosis is up on the scale that cause death.
2 Causes of Liver Damage
Some common causes of liver damage include chronic, heavy alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections and long-term usage of medications or herbs that are toxic to the liver. High rates of obesity and diabetes contribute to the increased occurrence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, a condition that creates fat build-up in the liver. Terrible habits like smoking (or second hand smoking which is a prolonged exposure to carcinogens), including chemical fumes, can also cause extensive liver damage. Cholestasis and other diseases that damage or destroy the liver’s bile are another cause for liver degeneration. Different types of hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver, occur through blood infection, while autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the body’s immune system attacks liver cells, causing tissue-damaging inflammation.
3 Regular drinking of coffee may decrease the risk of liver cancer
If you are one of those coffee drinkers who can’t live without at least one cup of coffee, then there is good news for you. Coffee reduces the risk of liver cancer. Two reviews of a total of ten studies have found that as coffee consumption increases, risk of liver cancer decreases. This association is seen in healthy individuals as well as those with previous liver disease. The two remarkable features of the results of these studies are their consistency and the very large reduction in observed disease risk. However, if you are a coffee drinker who takes between two and five cups of coffee, the risk for liver cancer won’t decrease. As a matter of fact it will increase with every additional cup.
According to studies by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, while moderate amounts of coffee can help the liver to detoxify the body, too much can have to opposite effect and hinder your liver’s function. This is especially true if you’re taking high doses over-the-counter pain medication.
4 How about decaffeinated coffee?
Just because it is decaffeinated, decaf coffee will not benefit your health. Decaf coffee still contains some caffeine. There are several different processing methods, but a small amount of caffeine remains in decaf coffee. Some decaf coffees are processed with methylene chloride, a solvent used to remove caffeine. Unfortunately, small amounts of this chemical remain in the beans. Methylene chloride is a proven carcinogen that is toxic to the lungs, nervous system, liver, mucous membranes and central nervous system. Through some studies, it has been shown that decaffeinated coffee can be more acidic than either regular coffee or caffeine alone. Decaf coffee is typically derived from Robusta beans, which contain a much higher content of fats called diterpenes than other types of coffee beans. Diterpenes are substances that stimulate fatty acid production in the body, which could cause hyper-acidity in the digestive system.
5 Stay in the safe zone!
Increased caffeine consumption, however is most beneficial for people who are at high risk for developing chronic liver disease, including those suffering from obesity, heavy alcohol consumption, iron overload and hepatitis B or C. But, increasing your intake of caffeine does not diminish your risk of contracting a liver-damaging virus, such as hepatitis. Stay in the safe zone and don’t take more than one, two cups of coffee in worst (sleepiest) case.