Coffee is hepatoprotective and potentially antiviral; however, its anti-hepatitis B virus (anti-HBV) property is not known in humans. This study investigated the influence of coffee drinking behaviour as well as clinical and biochemical profiles of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) negative participants on circulating HBV DNA and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels at a 24-week interval. Exactly 114 chronically HBV-infected adult participants were enrolled from the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Malaysia. A significant reduction of HBV DNA level was observed in those drinking three or more cups of coffee per day, with a median reduction of 523 IU/mL (P = 0.003). Reduction of HBsAg level was observed in those drinking two cups per day, with a median reduction of 37 IU/mL (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that increased coffee intake (P = 0.015) and lower ALT level (P = 0.033) were the significant predictors for a lower HBV DNA level, whereas increased coffee intake (P = 0.002) and having a family history of HBV infection (P = 0.021) were the significant predictors for a lower HBsAg level. These data suggest that drinking three cups or more coffee per day reduces circulating HBV DNA and HBsAg levels.
Keywords: antiviral; coffee; hepatitis B virus; surface antigen; viral load.