Drinking coffee can help improve the results of chronic liver disease treatments. That's the view of researchers in the United States, who studied patients undergoing treatment for hepatitis C, specifically receiving peginterferon plus ribavirin.
They found that those who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were two times more likely to respond to treatment than non-drinkers.
"Coffee intake has been associated with a lower level of liver enzymes, reduced progression of chronic liver disease and reduced incidence of liver cancer," said Neal Freedman, PhD, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute and lead author of this study. "Although we observed an independent association between coffee intake and virologic response to treatment, this association needs replication in other studies."
Treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin is successful in treating chronic hepatitis C in about half of patients.
The team say more studies among patients with less advanced disease, those who are treatment-naïve to prior therapy, or who are being treated with newer antiviral agents are needed.
The study is published in Gastroenterology.