Napoli: Want to keep your liver healthy? Keep on chugging that coffee. A study has revealed that drinking high volumes of java each day can help you keep non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at bay.
Adding coffee to the diet of people with NAFLD could help reverse the condition, according to the study conducted in mice.
The study found that a daily dose of coffee, equivalent to six cups of espresso coffee for a 70kg person, improved several key markers of NAFLD in mice that were fed a high fat diet. These mice also gained less weight than others fed the same diet without the dose of caffeine.
The scientists also showed how coffee protects against NAFLD by raising levels of a protein called Zonulin (ZO)-1, which lessens the permeability of the gut. Experts believe that increased gut permeability contributes to liver injury and worsens NAFLD. People suffering from NAFLD can develop scaring of the liver, also known as fibrosis, which can progress to a potentially life-threatening condition known as cirrhosis.
Study author Vincenzo Lembo of the University of Napoli, Italy, said, “The results also show that coffee can reverse NAFLD-related problems such as ballooning degeneration, a form of liver cell degeneration.”
“Italy is famous for its coffee and this Italian study has reinforced our knowledge on the link between it and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” said Professor Laurent Castera, EASL Secretary General.
Castera added, “Although not suggesting that we should consume greater levels of coffee, the study offers insights that can help future research into and understanding of the therapeutic role coffee can play in combating NAFLD.”
The study has been presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.