Okay, okay... We know we shouldn't get excited about single study health claims (hell, we probably shouldn’t even report on them), but as regular, enthusiastic, indiscriminate coffee drinkers, we couldn’t help but share the good news of the morning: a new study from the University of Napoli, Italy, found that coffee could help people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
The study found that a daily dose of the equivalent to six cups of espresso coffee for a 70kg person (so no small amount of coffee), improved several key markers of NAFLD in mice (so not quite humans) that were fed a high fat diet. These highly-caffeinated mice also gained less weight than others fed the same diet without the dose of caffeine.
The coffee helps by raising levels of a protein called Zonulin (ZO)-1, which lessens the permeability of the intestine (increased permeability considered to contribute to liver injury and NAFLD).
“Previous studies have confirmed how coffee can reverse the damage of NAFLD but this is the first to demonstrate that it can influence the permeability of the intestine,” says the study’s author, Vincenzo Lembo. “The results also show that coffee can reverse NAFLD-related problems such as ballooning degeneration, a form of liver cell degeneration.”
So, let’s see where we’re at: Want to reverse some of that non-alcohol-related liver damage? Drink coffee! Want to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes? Drink coffee! Want to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease? Drink coffee! Want to, um, get it up? Drink coffee! Want to die a little later than you might otherwise have? Drink coffee! Want to probably help your health just a little bit across the board (probably)? Drink coffee! And the more, the better!