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Coffee offers protection from fatty liver disease fibrosis

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Coffee is shown in a new study to protect patients wit NASH from liver fibrosis.

Coffee drinkers diagnosed with fatty liver disease might get an unexpected health boost, shows a new investigation. Researchers have found coffee can help prevent fibrosis or scarring of the liver that can be a complication of the disease.

For many patients fatty liver disease might pose no health risks. But if the liver becomes scarred from inflammation, cirrhosis and liver failure can occur leading to major health problems.

A high number of cases of fatty liver disease happen from alcohol abuse. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is frequently diagnosed in people with diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. NAFLD has become the leading cause of liver disease in the United States, surpassing Hepatitis B and C.

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Findings published in the February issue of Hepatology, show coffee lowers the chances of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progression to fibrosis and cirrhosis.

The finding comes from surveys taken from patients included in a previous NAFLD study, in addition to NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) patients treated at the center's hepatology clinic.

The study, led by Dr. Stephen Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, found coffee consumption in moderation was negatively correlated with development of liver fibrosis. Harrison concluded, “Our study is the first to demonstrate a histopatholgic relationship between fatty liver disease and estimated coffee intake."

"Association of coffee and caffeine consumption with fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and degree of hepatic fibrosis"
DOI: 10.1002/hep.24731
Jeffrey W. Molloy, Christopher J. Calcagno et al.
February, 2012

Image credit: Morguefile



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