How Drinking Coffee Can Help Reduce Liver Damage

Many of us yearn to start our day with a cup of coffee. But should you indulge in a couple of additional cups of joe throughout the day? While you may think twice about boosting your caffeine intake, researchers say your cup(s) of joe may actually help your liver health.

Health experts say that coffee lowers your risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease — or a condition that occurs when extra fat builds up in liver cells, which can cause cirrhosis of your liver (via Cleveland Clinic). There is also evidence that consuming coffee can help those who already have cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis C, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The key to this health perk is drinking at least three cups of regular, non-decaffeinated coffee a day. Experts tell Cleveland Clinic that if you already have liver issues, you can boost your intake to up to six cups a day, so long as you can handle that amount of caffeine. Too much coffee can cause jitteriness, anxiety or difficulty sleeping for some groups that are more sensitive to caffeine.

Other health perks of drinking coffee

The benefits of coffee don't stop at the liver, either. The American Heart Association found in a study that three cups of regular, black coffee a day may decrease your risk for heart attack or stroke by one-third (via StudyFinds). There are also links to coffee and reduced risk of colon cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

But this isn't a free pass to go out and guzzle down three of your favorite lattes or cappuccinos. Researchers say the most health benefits are reaped if the coffee is enjoyed without cream or artificial sweeteners. If you can't tolerate black coffee, try it with milk and a limited amount of sugar.

Although this research points to coffee being a positive drink choice for your health, you should also couple your cup of java with a healthy, well-rounded diet. Specifically for liver health, it is important to limit your intake of high-sugar, high-fat foods, as well as alcoholic beverages, according to Cleveland Clinic.

You should also seek advice from your medical team about the effects of increasing your caffeine intake on your personal health, as your dietary requirements may vary.