Coffee consumption can help overweight diabetics reduce fatty liver severity: Study
Coffee consumption reduces the intensity of liver disease in adults who have diabetes. Components such as caffeine and polyphenols, naturally occurring in coffee, can help lower the severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in overweight adults suffering from type-2 diabetes. A new study, published in Nutrients journal on December 20, 2022, from the University of Coimbra conducted a study with 156 participants to understand the roles of caffeine and non-caffeine components in this health benefit.
NAFLD is an umbrella term for liver disorders that develop due to a build-up of fat in the organ. The fat build-up can lead to liver fibrosis, which, in turn, can progress to cause scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and liver cancer. As the name suggests, such a condition is not the result of alcohol consumption but stems from an unhealthy lifestyle with little exercise and a high-calorie diet.
In the latest study, researchers surveyed 156 middle-aged overweight participants on their coffee intake based on a questionnaire. Of these, 98 subjects had type-2 diabetes and provided 24-hour urine samples. The samples were used to measure caffeine and non-caffeine metabolites. The natural products of the body breaking down coffee are called metabolites. In contrast to the previous self-report methods, this process presented more defined, quantitative data on coffee intake.
The study indicated that higher accumulative amounts of caffeine and non-caffeine metabolites that were measured in the urine samples were associated with a less severe NAFLD profile.
Participants who had a higher coffee intake had healthier livers and were less likely to have liver fibrosis. High levels of non-caffeine coffee components, on the other hand, were prominently associated with reduced fatty liver index scores. The study has suggested that these components, including polyphenols, reduce oxidative stress (imbalance of harmful free radicals and antioxidants) in the liver. They also aid in improving glucose homeostasis in both healthy and overweight subjects.
In the past, while research has shown that coffee is good for health, the positive impact is bound to factors such as consuming the beverage in moderation, avoiding adding cream and sugar in it, and refraining from nicotine and alcohol consumption.