READ MORE http://www.sciencedaily.com
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 study authors -- led by Paul
Yen, M.D., associate professor and research fellow, and Rohit Sinha,
Ph.D of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's Cardiovascular and
Metabolic Disorders Program in Singapore -- 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 findings 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," Yen
said. "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."
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.