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Coffee linked to less liver fibrosis

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Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus who consumed about 2 1/4 cups of coffee with caffeine daily had milder liver fibrosis, U.S. researchers found.

Dr. Apurva Modi, the lead author, and fellow researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases determined that for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus other sources of caffeine beyond coffee did not have the same therapeutic effect

Liver fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, is the second stage of liver disease, characterized by a degradation of liver function due to accumulated connective tissue.

From January 2006 to November 2008, all patients evaluated in the Liver Disease Branch of the National Institutes of Health were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine caffeine consumption. Questions were asked pertaining to: regular and diet soft drinks; regular and decaffeinated coffee; black, green, Chinese and herbal teas; cocoa and hot chocolate; caffeine-fortified drinks; chocolate candy; caffeine pills and medications with caffeine.

The study, published in the journal Hepatology, suggested that a beneficial effect requires caffeine consumption above a threshold of about 2 coffee-cup equivalents daily, but consumption of soda, green or black tea containing caffeine was not associated with reduced liver fibrosis.

© 2010 UPI. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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