Whether you like half-caf, decaf or full-on caffeista, your liver may be pleased. New research suggests that drinking even decaffeinated coffee may boost liver health. Scientists linked lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes with study subjects who drank more coffee, regardless of how much caffeine it contained.
Researchers used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 1999-2010). The study population included 27,793 participants, 20 years of age or older, who provided coffee intake in a 24-hour period. The team measured blood levels of several markers of liver function, including aminotransferase (ALT), aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma glutamyl transaminase (GGT) to determine liver health. Participants who reported drinking three or more cups of coffee per day had lower levels of ALT, AST, ALP and GGT compared to those who didn’t drink any coffee. Researchers also found low levels of these liver enzymes in participants drinking only decaffeinated coffee.
"Our findings link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels,” Dr. Qian Xiao, of the National Cancer Institute, said in a press release. “These data suggest that ingredients in coffee, other than caffeine, may promote liver health. Further studies are needed to identify these components."
The study was published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and noted on sciencedaily.com.
While de-caf may still help your liver, women with tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, may want to stick with fully loaded coffee. New research from Brigham and Women’s hospital finds that higher caffeine intake is associated with a lower risk of tinnitus in younger and middle-aged women.