F Morisco et al, 2014. Coffee and liver health. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, Volume 48, Supplement 1: S87-90Print this page
Coffee is one of the most widely used beverages in the world. It includes a wide array of components that can have potential implications for health. Several epidemiological studies associate coffee consumption with a reduced incidence of various chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Over the past 20 years, an increasing number of epidemiological and experimental studies have demonstrated the positive effects of coffee on chronic liver diseases. Coffee consumption has been inversely associated with the activity of liver enzymes in subjects at risk, including heavy drinkers. Coffee favours an improvement in hepatic steatosis and fibrosis, and a reduction in cirrhosis and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. The mechanisms of action through which it exerts its beneficial effects are not fully understood. Experimental studies show that coffee consumption reduces fat accumulation and collagen deposition in the liver and promotes antioxidant capacity through an increase in glutathione as well as modulation of the gene and protein expression of several inflammatory mediators. Animal and in vitro studies indicate that cafestol and kahweol, 2 diterpens, can operate by modulating multiple enzymes involved in the detoxification process of carcinogens causing hepatocellular carcinoma. It is unclear whether the benefits are significant enough to “treat” patients with chronic liver disease. While we await clarification, moderate daily unsweetened coffee use is a reasonable adjuvant to therapy for these patients.
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