Monday, March 25, 2013

Hero Joe

I'm sitting here drinking my ginger and milk thistle tea (I use two tea bags: ginger for inflammation and milk thistle for liver protection, for a light herbal tea every morning) -- but maybe what I should be having is a strong cup of joe.

A new study out of Finland suggests that heavy coffee consumption could protect against liver damage in hard-drinking men.  

Researchers from the University of Tampere polled 19,000 men and women about their alcohol intake and also measured levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in their blood. As a rule, heavy drinkers (people who consume more than 24 drinks a week) have a higher level of GGT in their blood. High GGT levels can also be a sign of liver disease. 

However, of those heavy drinkers, men who consumed at least 5 cups of coffee a day showed a significantly lower level of GGT in their blood than drinkers who steered away from joe. This could mean that coffee helps protect the livers of hard-drinking men. Though there didn't seem to be the same connection for women. (Boohoo!)

I wonder how they found 19,000 heavy drinkers in Finland?

Actually, as reported in Drinking Opportunity last week, Finland is the heaviest drinking nation on the planet (at least according to AskMen.com). You can't swing a Nokia over there without hitting a hard drinker, so they probably had more than enough volunteers. (Nokia being a great Finnish company where lots of Finns show they get much more done during the day than drinking and having saunas).

I think I'm gonna make myself a cup of coffee ... Better safe than sober. I mean, sorry. ;)

Here's the full article from LiveScience.com.