DO YOU ever find yourself feeling guilty while you savour that delicious flat white every morning? Well, fear not!
A new study has found that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cirrhosis, a type of liver damage in which the organ can’t function properly due to permanent scarring.
The study from Britain’s Southampton University analysed data from more than 430,000 people, and found that those who drink one to two cups of coffee per day reduce their risk of cirrhosis by 22-43 per cent.
Drinking three or four cups can reduce the risk by 57-65 per cent.
Researchers found the antioxidants in coffee help to repair damaged cells in the liver and reduce inflammation.
Two cups of coffee per day can also help reduce alcoholics reduce the risk of cirrhosis by 38 per cent, although it’s important to note that this doesn’t justify excessive drinking, or the systematic damage it can cause.
The study’s lead researcher Oliver Kennedy told The Washington Post that cirrhosis is not a disease to be underestimated.
“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal, and there is no cure as such,” he said. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous, and well-tolerated beverage.”
The most common causes of the disease are chronic alcohol abuse, long-term hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection, and the build-up of excess fat in the liver.
According to census data, cirrhosis was responsible for 1,772 deaths in Australia in 2013. It kills more than a million people worldwide every year.
So hey, if coffee can assist in preventing that, go forth and treat yourself to that third cup.
Here are some more ways in which coffee can be beneficial:
COFFEE CAN HELP YOU LIVE LONGER.
A Harvard study found that three to five cups of coffee can help you live longer, and that people who report doing so are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.
COFFEE DOESN’T SPEED UP YOUR HEART.
It’s a common myth that coffee is responsible for fast or irregular heart rates, but recent research found that regular caffeine consumption doesn’t cause heart palpitations. In fact, coffee drinkers have less chance of developing coronary artery disease.
COFFEE CAN IMPROVE YOUR SEX LIFE.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Centre found men who drank two cups of coffee a day were 42 per cent less likely to experience erectile dysfunction than those who drank no coffee. (Just make sure you brush your teeth after drinking it. There’s nothing like coffee breath to ruin the mood.)
COFFEE CAN PREVENT DIABETES.
Research has found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes — regardless of whether it was regular or decaffeinated.
COFFEE IS PRETTY DAMN DELICIOUS.
It’s a bleak and rainy Monday morning, and you walk into work half-asleep after braving that vicious peak hour traffic … and there it is. That seductive smell of freshly grinded coffee beans at your nearest cafe. Make the purchase. You know you want to.