Increased Caffeine Linked to Reduced Hepatic Fibrosis

Daily consumption of more than two cups of coffee may be associated with less severe disease

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Increased coffee consumption may protect against advanced liver fibrosis, especially in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to a study in the January issue of Hepatology.

Apurva A. Modi, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues assessed caffeine consumption in 177 patients who underwent liver biopsies, 121 of whom had chronic HCV infection.

After adjusting for factors such as age, race, liver disease, body mass index and alcohol consumption, the researchers found that daily caffeine consumption above 308 mg (the equivalent of 2.25 cups of coffee) was associated with reduced liver fibrosis in all patients (odds ratio, 0.25). The researchers also found an even greater protective effect in the subset of patients with HCV (odds ratio, 0.19).

"The effect seemed to be most pronounced with caffeinated coffee as opposed to other caffeine-containing products," the authors conclude. "With accumulating data on the beneficial role of coffee and caffeine in liver disease, as well as the supporting in vitro data, it may now be time to consider a prospective study of coffee or caffeine on hepatic fibrogenesis."

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