Decaf Coffee Has Health Benefits, Too!

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"What's the point of decaf coffee?" Maybe you thought a cup of decaf doesn't do anything for you, but a new study found that drinking decaffeinated coffee is just as beneficial to your liver as regular coffee.

In the study, researchers found that whether people drank regular or decaf, those who drank large quantities of coffee daily had lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes. The study suggests that it's not the caffeine but another chemical in coffee that helps the liver. Other studies found that drinking coffee can lower a person's risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Dr. Oian Xio, the lead researcher of the study at the National Cancer Institute of Bethesda, Maryland, said that prior research indicated that drinking coffee "may have a possible protective effect on the liver, however the evidence is not clear if that benefit may extend to decaffeinated coffee." To discover if it carried over to decaf, Xiao and his colleagues gathered data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. They found that people who drank three of more cups per day had lower levels of the enzymes that lower liver health compared with those who did not drink any coffee. It didn't if the coffee was decaf or caffeinated, but Xiao says that further studies will be needed to identify the component of coffee that is responsible for the health effect.