Tags: non-alcoholic | fatty | liver | disease | coffee | cirrhosis

More Evidence that Coffee May Protect Against Liver Disease

More Evidence that Coffee May Protect Against Liver Disease
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By    |   Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:54 PM

 Evidence is mounting that drinking coffee may be valuable to help protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a potentially deadly disorder for which there currently are no medical treatments.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a buildup of extra fat cells in the liver. It is estimated that 20 percent of adults and 10 percent of children in the U.S. have this form of liver disease. This number is escalating to epidemic proportions, fueled by the increase in obesity and metabolic syndrome, the set of conditions that hike the risk of cardiovascular disease.

While NAFLD isn’t dangerous in itself, in an estimated 20 percent of cases, the fat infiltrates the liver, damaging it and leading to scarring and cirrhosis. This condition, known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, is potentially fatal, and is the biggest cause of liver disease, as well the need for transplantation of the organ in the U.S.

In this new study, Spanish scientists, using mice, demonstrated that a high amount of coffee – the equivalent of six cups a day for an adult - when given in combination with a high fat diet, raised levels of a protein called Zonulin (ZO)-1, which lessens the permeability of the gut.1 Experts believe that increased gut permeability contributes to liver injury and worsens NAFLD.

Mice fed the coffee supplement significantly reversed their levels of cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase (an enzyme which levels increase in the blood when the liver is damaged), the amount of fat in the liver cells, and ballooning degeneration, which is a marker for NASH as well as other chronic liver diseases, according to the study, which was presented at the International Liver CongressTM in Barcelona.

This study adds to the growing body research which has also found coffee may be a protective factor both in preventing NAFLD, as well as improving the condition in people who have NASH.  In 2014, for example, an extensive review of the literature reviewed several U.S. dietary questionnaires and found that coffee, or caffeine intake, was one of five factors deemed important.

There were also two studies in 2012 that looked at the issue. In one, researchers found that people who drank more coffee had a milder form of NAFLD, and in the other, a separate team of scientists found that coffee consumption was associated with less liver scarring in patients that had already developed NASH.

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Coffee may be a way to protect against a type of potentially fatal liver disease.
non-alcoholic, fatty, liver, disease, coffee, cirrhosis
Thursday, 14 April 2016 01:54 PM
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