Review article: possible beneficial effects of coffee on liver disease and function


Dr E. M. Yoshida, Division of Gastroenterology, Vancouver General Hospital, Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, 5153-2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9.




Coffee is consumed by 50 percent of Americans every day. After oil, coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world. In recent years a number of studies have suggested potential health risks associated with coffee consumption; however, the results are controversial. Whilst coffee has been reported to increase cardiovascular risk factors, other investigators have demonstrated its protective effects on diseases ranging from type 2 diabetes to Parkinson's disease. A number of investigators have focused their attention on the relationship between the consumption of coffee and liver disease.

Aim  To examine the published literature to date in an attempt to establish the presence of an hepatoprotective effect of coffee.

Methods  Using PubMed, we identified published studies and review articles relating to the effect of coffee consumption on diseases of the liver.

Conclusion  A number of studies have reported the beneficial effects of coffee on abnormal liver biochemistry, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. At the present time the mechanism of this effect remains unclear as does the ‘‘dose’’ required to achieve these benefits.