Not so bad after all: Drinking more coffee is actually good for you

  • IANS, London
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2016 14:39 IST
Daily dose of coffee can check non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by reducing permeability of the gut, finds a new study. (Shutterstock)

Good news for all coffee lovers! Having five to six cups of coffee a day can protect you against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), claims a recent study.

Daily dose of coffee can check non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by reducing permeability of the gut, the team of researchers reported after conducting an experiment on mice.

They found that a daily dose of coffee (equivalent to six cups of espresso coffee for humans) improved several key markers of the disease in mice who were fed a high-fat diet.

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The mice also gained less weight than others fed the same diet without the dose of caffeine.

“Previous studies have confirmed how coffee can reverse the damage of NAFLD but this is the first to demonstrate that it can influence the permeability of the intestine,” said Vincenzo Lembo from the University of Napoli, Italy.

The results also show that coffee can reverse NAFLD-related problems such as ballooning degeneration, a form of liver cell degeneration.

The scientists showed how coffee protects against NAFLD by raising levels of a protein called Zonulin (ZO)-1 which lessens the permeability of the gut.

Coffee can reverse problems related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease such as ballooning degeneration, which is a form of liver cell degeneration. (Shutterstock)

Experts believe that increased gut permeability contributes to liver injury and worsens NAFLD.

People suffering from NAFLD can develop scarring of the liver — also known as fibrosis — which can progress to a potentially life threatening condition known as cirrhosis.

The results suggest that coffee supplementation could cause variations in the intestinal tight junctions which regulate the permeability of the intestine.

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“The study offers insights that can help future research into and understanding of the therapeutic role coffee can play in combating NAFLD,” added professor Laurent Castera, secretary general of The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).

The findings were presented at the International Liver Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, recently.

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