Great News for the Caffeine Addicts
It now appears that coffee and tea reduce the risk of serious liver damage in people who drink to much (not that anyone at Bryn Mawr would ever do that), are overweight, or have too much iron in their blood.
The study done by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. came up with these results by studying the records of 9,849 people over the course of 19 years. It was concluded that the people who drank over two couples of coffee or tea a day were half as likely to develop chronic liver disease as those who drank less than one cup a day. However, no protection was found against liver disease from other causes, like viral infections.
"While it is too soon to encourage patients to increase their coffee and tea intake, the findings of our study potentially offer people at high-risk for developing chronic disease a practical way to decrease that risk," said Dr. Constance Ruhl, the leader of the study. "In addition, we hope the findings will offer guidance to researchers who are studying liver disease progression."
Ruhl and his colleagues have concluded that it was the caffeine in the drinks that seemed to be effective against liver disease. What I am wondering, is if it is the caffeine, would other caffeinated drinks have the same affect? If so, how much caffeine is necessary to have this effect and how long would the drinker have to consume that much caffeine?
I think that this is a good step in the right direction for preventing liver diseases. Whether the disease is caused by something under the persons control (their drinking habits or their weight) or by something that they cannot control (the level of iron in their blood), it could be prevented by a few cups of coffee. Also, coffee and especially tea have many antioxidants, which are always good. Apparently, I am not the only who thinks so.