Science is back with reason No. 8,472 for why you should stop whatever you’re doing and go have a coffee: Italian researchers presented findings this week that suggest drinking a daily dose could help lower cholesterol, control weight, and reduce the risk of liver disease. This is especially welcome news for people trying to fight nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that can lead to liver failure and may affect as many as 80 percent of obese people.
This isn’t the first study to argue that coffee drinkers have healthier livers, so the idea that coffee gives an assist to that organ in particular isn’t new. But java seems to have lost some of its miraculous properties this time: Researchers found mice had to be hopped up on the equivalent of six espressos for a 155-pound person in order to achieve those benefits. They say the mechanism of action is that caffeine increases levels of a protein called zonulin that makes the gut less permeable and, in turn, combats liver disease … which is probably what people on cup five of the day should focus on to forget about caffeine jitters.