Caffeine may help in some cases of fatty liver disease
An international team of researchers, led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the Duke University School of Medicine, has suggested that increased caffeine may help prevent and protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
SINGAPORE: An international team of researchers, led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) and the Duke University School of Medicine, has suggested that increased caffeine intake may reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Using cell culture and mouse models, the team - headed by Associate Professor Paul Yen and Dr Rohit Sinha - observed that caffeine stimulates the metabolisation of lipids stored in liver cells and decreases the fatty liver of mice that were fed a high fat diet.
A news release issued by Duke-NUS on Friday said that the findings suggest that a caffeine intake of about four cups of coffee or tea a day may help prevent and protect against the progression of NAFLD in humans.
The statement also said that worldwide, 70 per cent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have NAFLD, the major cause of fatty liver not due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Currently, it is estimated that 30 per cent of American adults have this condition and its prevalence is rising in Singapore.
There are no effective treatments for NAFLD except diet and exercise.
The team hopes that the research could lead to the development of caffeine-like drugs without the side effects related to caffeine while retaining its therapeutic effects on the liver.
The findings are due to be published in the September issue of the journal Hepatology.
The study was supported by funding from Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research; the Ministry of Health; and the Ministry of Education.
Death by coffee: Why that caffeine boost could be killing you
That morning latte and afternoon cappuccino could be shortening your life, warn boffins
DRINKING more than four cups of coffee a day could be shortening your life.
Younger people in particular should avoid heavy coffee drinking, investigators warned.
Research found the risk of death from all causes rose by more than 50% for coffee lovers younger than 55 who drank more than 28 cups a week.
Dr Carl Lavie, from Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, said: “There continues to be considerable debate about the health effects of coffee.”