Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coffee and Tea May Contribute to a Healthy Liver

Credit: www.west-info.eu

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

Coffee consumption has been reported to significantly decreases all-cause mortality in women. Coffee and tea have also been reported to reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, gallstone disease, diabetes and Parkinson's disease and to improve cognitive performance. They may also protect your heart.

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

Worldwide, 70 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have NAFLD, the major cause of fatty liver not due to excessive alcohol consumption. 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 researchers observed that caffeine stimulates the metabolization of lipids stored in liver cells and decreased the fatty liver of mice that were fed a high-fat diet. These findings suggest that consuming the equivalent caffeine intake of four cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing and protecting against the progression of NAFLD in humans.

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.


The above story is based August 16, 2013 news release by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore.

The findings have been epublished ahead of print:
Sinha RA, Farah BL, Singh BK, Siddique MM, Li Y, Wu Y, Ilkayeva OR, Gooding J, Ching J, Zhou J, Martinez L, Xie S, Bay BH, Summers SA, Newgard CB, Yen PM. Caffeine stimulates hepatic lipid metabolism via autophagy-lysosomal pathway. Hepatology. 2013 Aug 8. doi: 10.1002/hep.26667

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