Coffee and tea may contribute to a healthy liver, researchers say

tea

Surprise! Your morning cup of tea or coffee may be doing more than just perking you up before work.

An international team of researchers led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) and the Duke University School of Medicine suggest that increased intake may reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic (NAFLD).

Worldwide, 70 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have NAFLD, the major cause of fatty liver not due to . It is estimated that 30 percent of adults in the United States have this condition, and its prevalence is rising in Singapore. There are no effective treatments for NAFLD except diet and exercise.

Using cell culture and mouse models, the study authors - led by Paul Yen, M.D., associate professor and research fellow, and Rohit Sinha, Ph.D of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program in Singapore - observed that caffeine stimulates the metabolization of lipids stored in and decreased the fatty liver of mice that were fed a high-fat diet. These findings suggest that consuming the equivalent of four cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing and protecting against the progression of NAFLD in humans.

The findings will be published in the September issue of the journal Hepatology.

"This is the first detailed study of the mechanism for caffeine action on lipids in liver and the results are very interesting," Yen said. "Coffee and tea are so commonly consumed and the notion that they may be therapeutic, especially since they have a reputation for being "bad" for health, is especially enlightening."

The team said this research could lead to the development of caffeine-like drugs that do not have the usual side effects related to caffeine, but retain its therapeutic effects on the liver. It could serve as a starting point for studies on the full benefits of caffeine and related therapeutics in humans.

In addition to Yen and Sinha, collaborators included Christopher Newgard, PhD, director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke University School of Medicine, where the metabolomics analysis of the data was conducted.

Related Stories

Weight loss surgery alters fatty liver disease genes

Aug 06, 2013

Research has shown that weight loss surgery can benefit obese individuals in ways that go beyond shedding pounds, for example by causing early remission of type 2 diabetes. Now scientists have found that the surgery can also ...

NAFLD increases the risk of early atherosclerotic lesions

Apr 26, 2013

A study presented today at the International Liver Congress 2013 – which evaluated the relationship between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), early predictors of atherosclerosis and the 10-year Framingham risk ...

Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide

Jul 25, 2013

Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The st ...

Recommended for you

Worldwide FGM ban sought at 'Girl Summit' (Update)

2 hours ago

British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Tuesday for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation and child marriage as he launched the first UN-backed "Girl Summit" on issues that affect millions around the globe.

US college pays $190M in exam pix settlement

2 hours ago

A "rogue" gynecologist's secret use of tiny cameras to record hundreds of videos and photos of his patients' sex organs has led to a $190 million settlement with some 8,000 women and girls, lawyers said Monday.

Backscatter body scan redux

2 hours ago

Airline passengers have already said bon voyage to the controversial backscatter x-ray security scanners, pulled from U.S. airports in 2013 over concerns about privacy and potential radiation risks. But the ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tadchem
1 / 5 (1) Aug 19, 2013
The difference between a malodorous rotting bog and a healthy fragrant estuary is the throughput of water. Throughput of water can also flush contaminants and toxins from the human body. The reason coffee and tea are healthier that plain water is that they have been boiled.