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Coffee consumption and risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Wijarnpreecha, Karn; Thongprayoon, Charat; Ungprasert, Patompong

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: February 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 2 - p e8–e12
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000776
Original Articles: Metabolic Liver Disease

Background/objectives Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a worldwide public health concern. Coffee might have a protective effect against NAFLD. However, the results of previous reports are conflicting. Therefore, we carried out this meta-analysis to summarize all available data.

Methods This study consisted of two meta-analyses. The first meta-analysis included observational studies comparing the risk of NAFLD in patients who did and did not drink coffee. The second analysis included studies comparing the risk of liver fibrosis between NAFLD patients who did and did not drink coffee. Pooled risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated.

Results Out of 355 articles, five studies fulfilled our eligibility criteria and were included in the analysis. The risk of NAFLD in patients who drank coffee was significantly lower than that in patients who did not pooled RR 0.71 (95% CI, 0.60–0.85). We also found a significantly decreased risk of liver fibrosis among NAFLD patients who drank coffee compared with those who did not, with a pooled RR of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.60–0.82). However, it should be noted that the definition of regular coffee consumption varied between studies, which is the main limitation of this meta-analysis.

Conclusion Our study found a significantly decreased risk of NAFLD among coffee drinkers and significantly decreased risk of liver fibrosis among patients with NAFLD who drank coffee on a regular basis. Whether consumption of coffee could be considered a preventative measure against NAFLD needs further investigations.

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aDepartment of Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, New York

bDepartment of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

cDepartment of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence to Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326, USA Tel: +1 607 547 4805; fax: +1 604 547 6612; e-mail:

Received August 25, 2016

Accepted September 16, 2016

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.