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Jul 13

Hepatitis C And Coffee

I have just been drifting through the internet again looking for any information I can get on how to improve my chances of clearing my chronic Hepatitis C infection. I am due to start treatment tomorrow all being well and I am also due to be finding out which genotype I have and the results of an ultrasound scan I had done on my liver a couple of weeks ago. So all in all it is a big day for me tomorrow. I guess I’ll be blogging about all of those things tomorrow but for now I just wanna say how cool I think this little tip is…

It is now thought that drinking coffee each day during Hep C treatment can double the chances of achieving a sustained virological response (SVR). SVR basically amounts to a cure as it means that after 72 weeks from the beginning of treatment (even if treatment ended after 3 months) the body has undetectable levels of HCV which basically amounts to a cure.

The bases for this thinking is a recent study by Neal D Freedman et al regarding the association of coffee consumption and response rates to treatment of inviduals undergoing hep C treatment with Intereferon and Ribivirin which concludes:

“High-level consumption of coffee (more than 3 cups per day) is an independent predictor of improved virologic response to peginterferon plus ribavirin in patients with hepatitis C.”

The excellent article here entitled Coffee Improves Response To Hepatitis C Treatment breaks the results down into more detail. The fascinating bottom line seems to be that consumption of 3 cups of coffee (how much is a cup?) or more meant that SVR was twice as likely to be produced. It seems to be that there is something in coffee that facilitates the effectiveness of the interferon and ribivirin combination therapy. What exactly the ‘magic’ ingredient is is not clear, as the article points out there are over 1,000 different compounds in coffee so narrowing it down to the specific ingredient would take a great deal of further study.

Even for those without Hep C, consumption of coffee appears to have significant protective effects over the health of the Liver which of course is even more vital for those who like a drink:

“People drinking one cup of coffee per day were, on average, 20% less likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis. For people drinking two or three cups the reduction was 40%, and for those drinking four or more cups of coffee a day the reduction in risk was 80%.” – newscientist.com

But for me right now. I’m pleased to be able to potentially boost my chances of attaining SVR via including the consumption of 3 or more cups of coffee per day in my daily routine!

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