Your Starbucks Addiction Could Be Good for You

I think we can all agree on one thing: the liver is a pretty rad (and important) organ. Unfortunately, lots of the things humans love to drink happen to also be really terrible for it. But today, I bring wonderful news for us coffee addicts: coffee might actually be good for your liver. Which is great, because I'm already on my second cup of the day and not planning on stopping anytime soon.The study, published in Hepatology, compared the coffee consumption and liver function of more than 27,000 participants, and researchers found that people who drank at least three cups a day had fewer abnormal enzymes than those who drank none. Maybe I should send this article to my doctor the next time she claims my relationship with my coffee maker is "weird" and "almost definitely unhealthy."Anyway. The study's results actually aren't too surprising. Coffee, and specifically its caffeine content, has been associated with reduced risk for depression, stroke, and diabetes in women. Even drinking up to six cups a day, which I think most people would agree is a little excessive, hasn't been shown to have any detrimental effects. In fact, there's very preliminary research showing that coffee might protect against Parkinson's disease in some people. Oh, and despite what your elementary school health unit claimed, it doesn't stunt your growth. Basically, unless you drink four Trenta iced coffees plus sweetener and cream a day (some people actually do this, I swear), coffee is pretty good for you. What makes this particular study surprising is that the same beneficial effects on the liver were found in decaf drinkers too. Why anyone would actively choose to drink decaf is beyond me, but maybe it's one of those "you'll understand when you're older" things.

The lead researcher on the study was quick to tell the New York Times the data doesn't imply that coffee is a health drink. So if you already drink coffee, it has some health benefits, but he's not saying everyone should go out and start chugging quad espressos every day. (Amateur.)

Either way, I'm happy to be the enabler of your coffee addiction today, even if it's decaf. Go forth and order that triple grande soy latte, my child, and ignore the judgmental stare of the barista. At least you know your liver is going to be in great shape.

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