The #1 Best Drinking Habit for Your Liver, Says New Study
If you love to wake up to a cup of coffee in the morning, then you (and your gut) are in serious luck. According to a recent review published by Nutrients, the habit of drinking coffee can actually help assist your digestive system—including your gut and your liver.
The review, which was supported by The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, evaluated 194 different publications and concluded that moderate coffee drinking (around three to five cups a day) didn't create any harmful effects on the digestive tract. In fact, drinking coffee was linked to a healthier composition of gut microbiota (keeping the population of your body's gut bacteria healthy), positively affects your digestive tract and colon, and even decreases your risk of developing liver diseases.
How does this work? It is actually all connected to the caffeine naturally found in coffee. The caffeine within coffee can help to stimulate a digestive hormone in the body called gastrin, as well as hydrochloric acid found in the stomach. Stimulating these both help to break down food in the stomach, while also stimulating cholecystokinin, a hormone that stimulates the secretion of bile which is important during digestion.
This, of course, seems contrary to some of the former claims made about coffee, which some believed could cause digestive issues. However, this review debunks the claim and dives deeper into how coffee actually can assist in the digestive process.
How does this help the liver specifically?
While this review shows multiple ways coffee can help with the digestive process, one of the main points the review concludes is how coffee strongly supports liver function and decreases the risk of liver disease like hepatocellular carcinoma, a common type of liver cancer.
This claim is also backed by a 2021 study published by BMC Public Health, which concluded drinking a moderate amount of coffee daily (three to four cups) can lower the risk of all chronic liver diseases including fatty liver disease and liver cancer.
Thankfully, drinking a few cups of coffee a day (even the caffeinated variety) is still perfectly fine for one's health. An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 100 milligrams of coffee, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says to cap your caffeine intake at 400 milligrams a day. That equates to four cups of coffee a day!
So drink up—it's actually good for you! Especially if you're drinking it black.
For more healthy drinking tips, check out The #1 Best Juice to Drive Every Day, Says Science.