ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2012) — Caffeine consumption has long been associated with decreased risk of liver disease and reduced fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease. Now, newly published research confirms that coffee caffeine consumption reduces the risk of advanced fibrosis in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Findings published in the February issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, show that increased coffee intake, specifically among patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), decreases risk of hepatic fibrosis.
The steady increase in rates of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome over the past 20 years has given rise to greater prevalence of NAFLD. In fact, experts now believe NAFLD is the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S., surpassing both hepatitis B and C. The majority of patients will have isolated fatty liver which has a very low likelihood of developing progressive liver disease. However, a subset of patients will have NASH, which is characterized by inflammation of the liver, destruction of liver cells, and possibly scarring of the liver. Progression to cirrhosis (advanced scarring of the liver) may occur in about 10-11% of NASH patients over a 15 year period, although this is highly variable.
To enhance understanding of the correlation between coffee consumption and the prevalence and severity of NAFLD, a team led by Dr. Stephen Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas surveyed participants from a previous NAFLD study as well as NASH patients treated at the center's hepatology clinic. The 306 participants were asked about caffeine coffee consumption and categorized into four groups: patients with no sign of fibrosis on ultrasound (control), steatosis, NASH stage 0-1, and NASH stage 2-4.
Researchers found that the average milligrams in total caffeine consumption per day in the control, steatosis, Nash 0-1, and Nash 2-4 groups was 307, 229, 351 and 252; average milligrams of coffee intake per day was 228, 160, 255, and 152, respectively. There was a significant difference in caffeine consumption between patients in the steatosis group compared to those with NASH stage 0-1. Coffee consumption was significantly greater for patients with NASH stage 0-1, with 58% of caffeine intake from regular coffee, than with NASH stage 2-4 patients at only 36% of caffeine consumption from regular coffee.
Multiple analyses showed a negative correlation between coffee consumption and risk of hepatic fibrosis. "Our study is the first to demonstrate a histopatholgic relationship between fatty liver disease and estimated coffee intake," concludes Dr. Harrison. "Patients with NASH may benefit from moderate coffee consumption that decreases risk of advanced fibrosis. Further prospective research should examine the amount of coffee intake on clinical outcomes."
Steatohepatitis/Metabolic Liver Disease
Association of coffee and caffeine consumption with fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and degree of hepatic fibrosis †‡
Jeffrey W. Molloy1, Christopher J. Calcagno2, Christopher D. Williams1, Frances J. Jones1, Dawn M. Torres3, Stephen A. Harrison1,§,*
Article first published online: 22 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
† Potential conflict of interest: Dr. Harrison consults for Amylin
‡ The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the U.S. Department of Army, U.S. Department of Air Force, or the U.S. Department of Defense.
Coffee caffeine consumption (CC) is associated with reduced hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis C. The association of CC with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has not been established. The aim of this study was to correlate CC with the prevalence and severity of NAFLD. Patients involved in a previously published NAFLD prevalence study, as well as additional NASH patients identified in the Brooke Army Medical Center Hepatology clinic, were queried about their caffeine intake. A validated questionnaire for CC was utilized to assess for a relationship between caffeine and four groups: ultrasound negative (controls), bland steatosis/not-NASH, NASH stage 0-1, and NASH stage 2-4. A total of 306 patients responded to the CC questionnaire. Average milligrams of total caffeine/coffee CC per day in controls, bland steatosis/not-NASH, NASH stage 0-1, and NASH stage 2-4 were 307/228, 229/160, 351/255, and 252/152, respectively. When comparing patients with bland steatosis/not-NASH to those with NASH stage 0-1, there was a significant difference in CC between the two groups (P = 0.005). Additionally, when comparing patients with NASH stage 0-1 to those with NASH stage 2-4, there was a significant difference in coffee CC (P = 0.016). Spearman's rank correlation analysis further supported a negative relationship between coffee CC and hepatic fibrosis (r = −0.215; P = 0.035). Conclusion: Coffee CC is associated with a significant reduction in risk of fibrosis among NASH patients. (Hepatology 2012)
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Coffee Consumption Reduces Fibrosis Risk in Those With Fatty Liver Disease, Study Sug