High coffee intake is associated with lower grade nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: the role of peripheral antioxidant activity

Ann Hepatol. May-Jun 2012;11(3):350-5.


Background & aims: Some phytochemicals present in coffee have a potential antioxidant role which seems to protect the human body against cardiovascular diseases, liver disease and malignancies. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a common disease with limited therapeutic options. This study investigated the antioxidant effect of coffee by measuring antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation markers in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Material and methods: We performed a case-control study at the University Hospital, Mexico City. Anthropometric, metabolic, dietary and biochemical variables of all patients were determined and compared. The presence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was established by ultrasonography. All patients completed a dietary questionnaire in order to determine their of coffee consumption. Catalase, superoxide dismutase and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were measured in all of the patients.

Results: Seventy-three subjects with and 57 without nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were included. Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease had significantly higher body mass index, blood glucose, homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance and insulin values in comparison to patients without nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. On the one hand, there was a significant difference in coffee intake between the groups (p < 0.05, for all comparisons). There was no significant difference between groups in catalase (0.39 ± 0.74 vs. 0.28 ± 0.69 nM/min/mL), superoxide dismutase (5.4 ± 3.45 vs. 4.7 ± 2.1 U/mL) or thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (4.05 ± 1.87 vs. 3.94 ± 1.59 µM/mL).

Conclusions: A high intake of coffee has a protective effect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease however there was no significant difference in the antioxidant variables analyzed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Catalase / blood
  • Coffee*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fatty Liver / blood*
  • Fatty Liver / epidemiology
  • Fatty Liver / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Coffee
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase