January 6, 2014

Coffee Consumption and Chronic Liver Disease: The New Best Prescription?

Medscape Gastroenterology > Viewpoints

David A. Johnson, MD

January 06, 2014

Review Article: Coffee Consumption, the Metabolic Syndrome and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Yesil A, Yilmaz Y
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013;38:1038-1044

Study Summary

Coffee consumption is a part of daily life in most areas of the world. As such, a number of studies have evaluated the chemical composition and related effects that this enjoyable beverage may have on health and disease.

For many years, healthcare providers have advised patients to avoid excessive consumption because of a concern about caffeine dependence. Several recent studies, however, suggest that regular coffee consumption may modulate the risk for fibrosis in chronic liver disease.

Yesil and Yilmaz analyzed the experimental, epidemiologic, and clinical studies and the modulation of the metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Animal studies showed a reduction in the metabolic syndrome with improvements in glycemic and lipid regulation, as well as reductions in transaminases and proinflammatory cytokine hepatic gene expression. Other studies showed reductions in hepatic fat and collagen proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor, as well as increases in anti-inflammatory interleukins. Epidemiologic and clinical studies demonstrated a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and prevalence of metabolic syndrome, as well as a reduced risk for NAFLD.

View This Abstract Online

Review article: coffee consumption, the metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther.  2013; 38(9):1038-44 (ISSN: 1365-2036)

Yesil A; Yilmaz Y

BACKGROUND: Coffee consumption may modulate the risk of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

AIM: To review the experimental, epidemiological and clinical studies investigating the association between coffee consumption and the risk of MetS and NAFLD.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted with the aim of finding original experimental, epidemiological and clinical articles on the association between coffee consumption, MetS and NAFLD. The following databases were used: PubMed, Embase, Scopus and Science Direct. We included articles written in English and published up to July 2013.

RESULTS: Three experimental animal studies investigated the effects of coffee in the MetS, whereas five examined whether experimental coffee intake may modulate the risk of fatty liver infiltration. All of the animal studies showed a protective effect of coffee towards the development of MetS and NAFLD. Moreover, we identified eleven epidemiological and clinical studies that met the inclusion criteria. Of them, six were carried out on the risk of the MetS and five on the risk of NAFLD. Four of the six studies reported an inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk of MetS. The two studies showing negative results were from the same study cohort consisting of young persons with a low prevalence of the MetS. All of the epidemiological and clinical studies on NAFLD reported a protective effect of coffee intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Coffee intake can reduce the risk of NAFLD. Whether this effect may be mediated by certain components of the MetS deserves further investigation.


Bhoo-Pathy N, Uiterwaal CS, Dik VK, et al. Intake of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or tea does not affect risk for pancreatic cancer: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer Study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11:1486-1492.


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