The morning fix may be just what the doctor ordered, at least according to the findings of a new study. A study by a group of international researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina found that caffeinated beverages may protect a person’s liver from developing a disease.
In its results, researchers explained that an enhanced consumption of caffeine can reduce fatty liver in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – more than two-thirds of people diagnosed with diabetes have NAFLD.
By utilizing cell culture and mouse models, the science team discovered that caffeine had actually stimulated the metabolization of lipids stored in liver cells and had reduced the fatty liver of mice that were given a high-fat diet. Essentially, the study found that consuming four cups of coffee or tea each day can actually help the liver and prevent and protect humans from contracting NAFLD.
“This is the first detailed study of the mechanism for caffeine action on lipids in liver and the results are very interesting," head researcher Dr. Paul Yen said in a press release. "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."
Yen further explained that this study could lead to caffeine drugs to be developed but would lack the side effects that usually come with caffeine intake. In the end, the team’s research could be the starting point for further studies that depict the therapeutic effects of caffeine.
The study included the participation of Rohit Sinha, Ph.D of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program in Singapore, and Christopher Newgard, Ph.D., director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke University School of Medicine. It was financially supported by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.
Findings from the study will be published in next month’s issue of the journal Hepatology. It can also be perused online.
This isn’t the first study to show the benefits of drinking coffee or tea. Previous research has suggested that consuming at least one cup of coffee each day can diminish the risk of getting liver disease and fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease, according to RelaxNews.
In addition, other studies have shown that drinking coffee can reduce the chances of developing an array of cancers, heart disease and a heart attack, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and much more. Other benefits, meanwhile, can include improving vascular health, cholesterol health, body composition and motivation and reaction time.
Recently, a study from researchers at the New Orleans hospital concluded that those aged 55 and younger who drink more than four cups of coffee per day can increase their mortality risk by 50 percent, reports Web Pro News.
Last month, though, a study by Harvard University found that drinking a few cups of coffee every day can reduce the risk of suicide, according to the United Press International.