NAFLD: Mediterranean diet, coffee can help

Evan Walker
Evan Walker TheMediTary.Com |
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A Mediterranean diet and coffee can help with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Image credit: valbar STUDIO/Stocksy.
  • A new review found that coffee, fiber, and following a Mediterranean diet can help manage nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  • The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, and grains, which positively impact liver health.
  • Coffee can have therapeutic effects on overall health, including the liver, thanks to some of its key compounds.
  • Fiber is beneficial for treating NAFLD due to its association with decreased obesity and promoting weight management.

According to a review published in the journal Nutrients, there are numerous dietary approaches to help treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Specifically, the researchers concluded that coffee, high-fiber foods and the Mediterranean diet were beneficial.

NAFLD is the leading cause of chronic liver disease, and to date, there is no standard treatment method to manage the harmful effects of this health condition. This review aimed to find a dietary strategy to improve liver steatosis.

Researchers conducted a thorough search of data in MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. They found that a hypocaloric Mediterranean diet had a positive impact on NAFLD. Coffee may also be able to help manage this disease.

Additionally, the gut microbiome has been shown to affect NAFLD. Therefore, fiber consumption is recommended.

Perhaps more surprising is the finding that coffee could also help fight NAFLD. So why might it be beneficial

Dr. Banini explained that “coffee consumption increases levels of aquaporin8, which is involved in transport of water and other molecules across the cell membrane and maintains gut health and homeostasis.”

Coffee is also contain some compounds that could have a therapeutic effects.

“Association studies have demonstrated a protective effect in NAFLD, potentially by modulating the gut microbiome,” Dr. Gupta noted. “Because coffee intake is correlated with decreased NAFLD and liver scarring, drinking up to 3 cups per day is recommended in the absence of contraindications.”

Yet Dr. Banini suggested viewing the study findings with a degree of caution, as it is not without its limitation.

“The study is a scoping review hence does not include risk of bias assessment of the studies included, or discuss the underlying pathophysiological basis for findings in the studies reported,” she pointed out.

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