Good news for caffeine addicts: a new study says that drinking coffee and tea is associated with better liver health.

In a study that took place in Amsterdam, researchers looked at data for more than 2,400 people who were at least 45 years old. Participants completed a health screening and questionnaire about their diets, and reported consuming no coffee, moderate amounts (less than three cups per day), or higher amounts (more than three cups), each day. Tea was measured by type: herbal, green black, and consumption of either none or any. They found that people who drank more coffee and tea had less liver stiffness, which is linked to liver disease and cancer.

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"There is quite some epidemiological, but also experimental data suggesting that coffee has health benefits on liver enzyme elevations, viral hepatitis, NAFLD, cirrhosis, and liver cancer," says Dr. Sarwa Darwish Murad, hepatologist at the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam and study co-author, in a story on UPI. "Beyond the liver, coffee has been demonstrated to be inversely associated with overall mortality in the general population. The exact mechanism is unknown but it is thought that coffee exerts antioxidant effects. We were curious to find out whether coffee consumption would have a similar effect on liver stiffness measurements in individuals without chronic liver disease."

According to Johns Hopkins Hospital, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis are leading causes of death by disease. Most cirrhosis is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, but Dr. Louise J.M. Alferink, study co-author, believes our lifestyle habits are furthering the damage to our liver.

"Over the past decades, we gradually deviated towards more unhealthy habits, including a sedentary lifestyle, decreased physical activity, and consumption of a 'Happy Diet,'" Alferink says in UPI.

According to Alferink, unhealthy, processed foods, artificial sugars and diets lacking nutrients are not only causing obesity, but furthering non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The term is used for a range of liver problems that people who drink little alcohol are diagnosed with and occurs because too much fat is stored in the liver.

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Doctors aren’t entirely sure why people develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease but there are other health problems it’s been linked to, including obesity, insulin resistance, high blood sugar and high levels of fat in the blood, reports WebMD. At its most extreme, the condition can develop into cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver, as happens in about 20 percent of cases, writes the Mayo Clinic. A healthy diet and weight loss are the go-to treatment options. However, this study offers a new possible weapon for people diagnosed with liver problems in the form of a warm cup of coffee.

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