A new study has found that advanced hepatitis C patients with chronic liver disease may benefit from drinking coffee during treatment.
Patients who received peginterferon plus ribavirin treatment and who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were two times more likely to respond to treatment than non-drinkers.
"Coffee intake has been associated with a lower level of liver enzymes, reduced progression of chronic liver disease and reduced incidence of liver cancer," said Neal Freedman, of the National Cancer Institute and the study's lead author.
"Although we observed an independent association between coffee intake and virologic response to treatment, this association needs replication in other studies," he said.
Among the non-drinkers studied, 46 percent had an early virologic response; 26 percent had no detectable serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) ribonucleic acid at week 20; 22 percent had no detectable serum at week 48; and 11 percent had a sustained virologic response.
In contrast, the corresponding proportions for those who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were 73 percent, 52 percent, 49 percent and 26 percent, respectively.