Love Your Liver? Drink a cup of coffee, or two...
8 November 2018
In a Hepatitis Victoria podcast, Dr Paul Gow,a gastroenterologist at the Austin Hospital and the chair of Hepatitis Victoria’s Liver Health Advisory Committee talks all things the liver…and recommends drinking coffee to maintain and improve liver health.
“We don’t exactly understand how it works but there is an increasing amount of observational data that suggests that drinking coffee is beneficial for your liver,” says Dr Gow.
“People who drink coffee have a reduced risk of developing scarring or fibrosis of the liver and there’s increasing and quite good evidence that amongst those with viral hepatitis and scarring of the liver, drinking coffee actually reduces the risk of liver cancer, which is amazing to think about.”
There are many different biologically active compounds in coffee but the compound or combination of compounds responsible for its beneficial health effects on the liver remains a mystery.
“Caffeine alone is not the key ingredient, as decaffeinated coffee also shows benefits, as does instant coffee…” says Dr Gow.
“Some of the data is from America, which has some of the worst coffee in the world so it may not be the fact that just having a perfect latte served in a Melbournian café may be equally beneficial then having some nasty drip coffee from the States,” he says.
“The body of evidence is increasingly suggesting that drinking coffee, if you’re able to and there’s no intolerance for it, that drinking coffee is good for your liver”.
Dr Gow is keen to stress that he receives no funding from the caffeine industry, “… in fact I support them significantly with my own habit,” he says.
Hepatitis Victoria has launched a campaign with coffee cups decorated with the slogan Love Your Liver: One coffee at a time!
Listen to Dr Gow’s podcast interview and download the LiverWELL app here