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Drinking coffee, tea may reduce liver disease risk

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A new research carried out by an international team suggests that regular consumption of coffee and tea can reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Headed by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the Duke University of Medicine, the study demonstrates that daily consumption of four cups of coffee or tea shares a health benefit due to the caffeine present in both beverages.

The animal models of the research that was taken on mice proved the effects of caffeine on the fatty livers.

The researchers found that caffeine was able to trigger the stored lipids in the liver cells to metabolize, which then helped lower the amount of fat in the liver.

They say “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,” according to the findings that 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,” said the study leader Paul Yen, M.D. associate professor of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore.

“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,” he also stated.

While nearly 70 percent of people with diabetes and obesity experienced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, there are no effective treatments for it.

The patients suffering from this dangerous disease are usually recommended to control it through strict diet and exercise.

The recent study could lead to the development of caffeine-like medicines that do not have the usual side effects related to caffeine, but retain its therapeutic effects on the liver, the research team claims.


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