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The coffee-lover liver

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Americans have a serious coffee habit, and a study indicates this might not be a bad thing – at least for our livers. At the National Institutes of Health, researcher Qian Xiao saw signs of this in national health survey data on almost 28,000 people, from 1999 and 2010. She examined the relationship between coffee intake and abnormal liver enzymes:

“Coffee drinkers were less likely to have abnormal liver function than nondrinkers, regardless of whether the coffee was decaffeinated or not.”

She says these enzymes are used as clinical markers for liver disease.

Since the effect was seen for decaffeinated and regular coffee, Xiao suspects something in coffee other than caffeine might affect liver enzymes.

The study was in the journal Hepatology.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.