Unexpected health benefits of coffee revealed

Alex Hodge

Dr Alex Hodge

Drinking two or more cups of coffee a day may have significant health benefits, according to latest research at Monash University.

Dr Alex Hodge, a consultant gastroenterologist and liver disease specialist at Monash Health revealed his findings this week at The Liver Meeting in San Francisco, the annual scientific meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

“My research interest is in liver disease and the results of my latest study shows that coffee intake has a positive effect on a number of diseases, and in particular, liver diseases,” said Dr Hodge, who also holds an early career practitioner fellowship in the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS), Monash University.

“We collected data from over 1100 liver clinic patients at Monash Medical Centre over 18 months and found that drinking coffee reduced liver stiffness (a measurement of liver disease) in patients with hepatitis C, hepatitis B and fatty liver,” said Dr Hodge.

“These findings were noted even when confounding factors such as weight, alcohol and smoking habits were taken into account.”

Dr Hodge’s study did not find the same results when he analysed liver patients’ consumption of tea.

“The most striking results were found in patients with hepatitis C,” added Dr Hodge. “Two or more cups of coffee led to an improvement in their liver disease.”

This research adds to the growing body of evidence of the health benefits of coffee, in particular for those with liver diseases including the most common liver disease, fatty liver.