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Decaf Coffee May Be Good for the Liver

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Researchers from the US National Cancer Institute report that decaffeinated coffee drinking may benefit liver health. Results of the study, published in Hepatology, show that higher coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, was linked to lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes. This suggests that chemical compounds in coffee other than caffeine may help protect the liver.

Coffee consumption is highly prevalent with more than half of all Americans over 18 drinking on average three cups each day according to a 2010 report from the National Coffee Association. Moreover, the International Coffee Association reports that coffee consumption has increased one percent each year since the 1980s, increasing to two percent in recent years. Previous studies found that coffee consumption may help lower the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

“Prior research found that drinking coffee may have a possible protective effect on the liver. However, the evidence is not clear if that benefit may extend to decaffeinated coffee,” explains lead researcher Dr. Qian Xiao from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

For the present study researchers used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 1999-2010). The study population included 27,793...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.