Washington: Coffee caffeine consumption reduces the risk of advanced fibrosis in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), researchers have confirmed.Caffeine consumption has long been associated with decreased risk of liver disease and reduced fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.Now, a new study has found that increased coffee intake, specifically among patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), decreases risk of hepatic fibrosis.The steady increase in rates of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome over the past 20 years has given rise to greater prevalence of NAFLD. In fact, experts now believe NAFLD is the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S., surpassing both hepatitis B and C.The majority of patients will have isolated fatty liver, which has a very low likelihood of developing progressive liver disease. However, a subset of patients will have NASH, which is characterized by inflammation of the liver, destruction of liver cells, and possibly scarring of the liver.Progression to cirrhosis (advanced scarring of the liver) may occur in about 10-11percent of NASH patients over a 15-year period, although this is highly variable.To enhance understanding of the correlation between coffee consumption and the prevalence and severity of NAFLD, a team led by Dr. Stephen Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas surveyed participants from a previous NAFLD study as well as NASH patients treated at the center’s hepatology clinic.
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