Cof­fee a liver hit

The West Australian - - NEWS -

A daily caffeine hit may be the an­swer to one of the most com­mon med­i­cal con­di­tions in the world.

Austin Health re­searchers have tested whether reg­u­lar cof­fee con­sump­tion can treat fatty liver dis­ease, one of the most fre­quent but lesser-known obe­sity-re­lated prob­lems.

At least one in three peo­ple in the Western world have an in­creased build-up of fat in their liver — largely from in­ac­tiv­ity, be­ing over­weight or hav­ing a poor diet — but most will not know their liver is in­flamed.

The study was aimed at test­ing whether three cups of cof­fee a day could re­duce liver fat and con­se­quently get peo­ple out of the health dan­ger zone.

Austin Health liver transplant sur­geon Paul Gow said the first ev­i­dence that cof­fee could im­prove liver func­tion emerged 30 years ago when a study into heart dis­ease re­vealed that reg­u­lar cof­fee drinkers had health­ier livers.

“Stud­ies have shown that cof­fee drinkers have a lower risk of cir­rho­sis, of liver can­cer, and a lower risk of fatty liver dis­ease,” As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Gow said. Brigid O’Con­nell

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