By now, you’ve probably heard that coffee is not the no-no that natural health experts used to think it was. True, if you drink a lot of it, it can have negative effects such as disrupting sleep, increasing anxiety, and over the long term, exhausting your adrenal reserves. In fact, you may recall that researchers have even found the cut-off for how much is too much: more than four cups (32 fluid ounces) per day increases the risk of death.
If you drink coffee in moderation, add to its benefits a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This was reported in a new meta-analysis (a study of studies), though the mechanism of protection is not clear.
Metabolic syndrome is a spectrum of health problems associated with our modern poor diet and sedentary lifestyle habits, including at least 3 of the following 5 conditions:
- Fasting blood sugar (glucose) ≥100 mg/dL
- Blood pressure ≥130/85 mm Hg
- Triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL
- HDL-C (“good cholesterol”) < 40 mg/dL in men or < 50 mg/dL in women
- Waist circumference ≥40 inches in men or ≥35 inches in women
Your liver is the major organ of detoxification, as well as the master of regulating nutrition and metabolism in the body. NAFLD, as its name implies, refers to the accumulation of fat in the liver that impairs its function, caused by unhealthy diet rather than alcohol intake.
As always, be sure to consume that coffee in moderation, and minimize (or skip altogether) the milk and sugar.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013;38(9):1038-1044.