Starbucks lovers, file this under Best News Ever: Drinking coffee (lots and lots of it!) may protect your liver from cirrhosis (irreversible scarring of the liver that can be caused by excessive drinking), according to a recent review of nine scientific studies.
Researchers don't know exactly how coffee works its magic—yeah, it's full of antioxidants, but the mechanisms are pretty complex.
One thing they do know: The more coffee you drink, the better. Compared to people who drank no coffee (lol), people who drank one cup a day had a 22 percent lower risk of cirrhosis, while people who drank four cups a day were 65 percent less likely to develop the disease.
But really, any reduction in cirrhosis risk is a good thing, considering there's no known way to undo liver damage, which can trigger symptoms like fatigue, nausea, weight loss, abdominal pain, severe itching, plus jaundice, gallstones, edema, and mental issues in severe cases.
It's worth mentioning that drinking all the alcohol isn't the only way to set yourself up for cirrhosis: other culprits include hepatitis C infections, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease tied to obesity and diabetes. And no one is saying coffee can shield you from all that—particularly if you load up on coffee concoctions that are mostly made of sugar and cream.
The fact that coffee is a saving grace the morning after drinking (+ every day), and may also protect you from further damage? I'll take that as proof that all in the world is right.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.