Thursday, May 19, 2011

Food of the Day: i drink coffee for my liver

I have trouble justifying my typical 2-4 cups of coffee a week.  No matter how diluted with rice milk, whether regular or decaf, there is no denying the less-than-ideal effect of the acids on my tummeh.

However, my average 36 oz of coffee a week has other benefits.

First of all, it magically suppresses nausea.  Secondly, it helps me to stave off hepatic cancer and chronic liver disease (Johnson et al 2011*).  And as anyone who has ever taken steroids or 6MP or been on chemo/biologic therapy knows, this is a handy dandy organ.  Specifically, Dr. Johnson and colleagues report that of their coffee-drinking cohort participants, those who drank 3+ cups of coffee per day on average had a 44% reduced risk of develpping hepatocellular carcinoma compared to those who never drank coffee.  As clinical studies go, 44% is a pretty big deal.

There are other reasons to drink coffee, such as its recent implication in protecting against prostate cancer, and the age-old [read: 6-year old] claim that coffee can protect lymphocytes from toxin-induced DNA damage (Steinkellner et al 2005Bichler et al 2007).  Suffice to say, there is ample support for moderate coffee consumption.

Folks, I needed an excuse to get my French roast fix.  Or Brazillian roast, or fair trade Guatemalan... really, it's whatever is being served at Journal Club.
* Johnson S, Koh WP, Wang R, Govindarajan S, Yu MC, & Yuan JM (2011). Coffee consumption and reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer causes & control : CCC, 22 (3), 503-10 PMID: 21258859


  1. hahahaha maan. coffee and chocolate have all these health benefits. i'm allergic to chocolate and don't like coffee unless its in ice cream form. hahaha.

  2. Oh what an enjoyable and refreshing read for a fellow Crohn's to read.

  3. Lizzy -- you do plenty of other awesome things for your health, though :)

    Zara -- so glad you enjoyed it and to find your blog!