Author(s): Muriel P, Arauz J
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Abstract Coffee consumption is worldwide spread with few side effects. Interestingly, coffee intake has been inversely related to the serum enzyme activities gamma-glutamyltransferase, and alanine aminotransferase in studies performed in various countries. In addition, epidemiological results, taken together, indicate that coffee consumption is inversely related with hepatic cirrhosis; however, they cannot demonstrate a causative role of coffee with prevention of liver injury. Animal models and cell culture studies indicate that kahweol, diterpenes and cafestol (some coffee compounds) can function as blocking agents by modulating multiple enzymes involved in carcinogenic detoxification; these molecules also alter the xenotoxic metabolism by inducing the enzymes glutathione-S-transferase and inhibiting N-acetyltransferase. Drinking coffee has been associated with reduced risk of hepatic injury and cirrhosis, a major pathogenic step in the process of hepatocarcinogenesis, thus, the benefit that produces coffee consumption on hepatic cancer may be attributed to its inverse relation with cirrhosis, although allowance for clinical history of cirrhosis did not completely account for the inverse association. Therefore, it seems to be a continuum of the beneficial effect of coffee consumption on liver enzymes, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. At present, it seems reasonable to propose experiments with animal models of liver damage and to test the effect of coffee, and/or isolated compounds of this beverage, not only to evaluate the possible causative role of coffee but also its action mechanism. Clinical prospective double blind studies are also needed. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Fitoterapia
and referenced in Biology and Medicine