Coffee’s Natural Components May Help Reduce Severity of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Among Overweight Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, Finds Study
Portugal-based University of Coimbra research reveals potential benefits of caffeine and polyphenols in coffee for controlling NAFLD in overweight patients with T2D.
In a groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Coimbra in Portugal, researchers have discovered that certain natural components found in coffee could play a significant role in reducing the severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The findings shed light on the potential benefits of caffeine and polyphenols in coffee for controlling NAFLD and improving overall liver health.
NAFLD, a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, poses a significant risk to individuals with unhealthy lifestyles, including little physical activity and high-calorie diets. If left untreated, NAFLD can progress to more severe conditions such as liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
Lead researcher John Griffith Jones, a Senior Researcher at the University of Coimbra, emphasized the need to address the increasing prevalence of obesity, T2D, and NAFLD, which burden healthcare systems worldwide. Jones noted, “Due to changes in modern diet and lifestyle, there is an increase in obesity rates and incidence of both T2D and NAFLD, which can ultimately develop into more severe and irreversible conditions, burdening healthcare systems.”
The study, the first of its kind, revealed a correlation between higher levels of cumulative caffeine and non-caffeine metabolites in urine and a reduced severity of NAFLD among overweight individuals with T2D. Participants who consumed more coffee demonstrated healthier liver profiles, and those who had higher caffeine intake were less likely to develop liver fibrosis. Moreover, patients who consumed greater amounts of non-caffeine coffee components exhibited lower fatty liver index scores.
The research team further highlighted that coffee components, particularly polyphenols, have been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the liver, consequently lowering the risk of fibrosis. These components have also demonstrated positive effects on glucose homeostasis in both healthy individuals and those who are overweight, which may have additional benefits in managing the severity of T2D.
While further research is needed to establish a definitive causal relationship, this study suggests that an increased consumption of coffee, with its natural components like caffeine and polyphenols, may contribute to mitigating the severity of NAFLD in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes. These findings provide new insights into the potential health benefits of coffee and offer a promising avenue for future therapeutic interventions in managing NAFLD and related metabolic disorders.