M Patrizia Carrieri et al, 2013, Association between elevated coffee consumption and daily chocolate intake with normal liver enzymes in HIV-HCV infected individuals: results from the ANRS CO13 HEPA VIH cohort study, Journal of Hepatology, Accepted Manuscript, published online ahead of print.

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Background & Aims: We used longitudinal data from the ANRS CO13 HEPAVIH cohort study of HIV-HCV coinfected individuals to investigate whether polyphenol rich foods intake through coffee and/or daily chocolate consumption could play a role in reducing liver enzymes levels.
Methods: Longitudinal data collection included self-administered questionnaires and medical data (ASpartate aminoTransferase (AST) and ALanine aminotransferase (ALT) liver enzymes). Two analyses were performed to assess the association between coffee (≥3 cups a day) and daily chocolate intake and abnormal values of AST and ALT (AST or ALT >2.5x upper normal limit (UNL)) (N=990) over time, after adjustment for known correlates. Logistic regression models based on Generalised Estimating Equations were used to take into account the correlations between repeated measures and estimate adjusted odds ratio.
Results: After adjustment, elevated coffee consumption and daily chocolate intake were independently associated with normal ALT (OR = 0.65; p = 0.04 and OR = 0.57; p = 0.04, for coffee and chocolate respectively), while only elevated coffee consumption was positively associated with normal AST values (p = 0.05). Nevertheless, the combined indicator of coffee and chocolate intake was most significantly associated with a 40-50% reduced risk of abnormal liver enzymes (p = 0.003 for AST; p = 0.002 for ALT).
Conclusions: Elevated coffee consumption and daily chocolate intake appear to be associated with reduced level of liver enzymes in HIV-HCV co-infected patients. Further experimental and observational research is needed to better understand the role that polyphenol intake or supplementation can play on liver disease and liver injury.

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