Frequent coffee and herbal tea consumption is associated with the presence of lower liver stiffness in the general population, according to data published in the Journal of Hepatology.

Louise JM Alferink, MD, from the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted the Rotterdam Study, an ongoing prospective population-based cohort study, to evaluate the association between coffee and tea consumption and liver stiffness.

The study included 2,424 participants who underwent transient elastography and ultrasound, and who completed a food frequency questionnaire. The researchers categorized coffee and tea consumption into 3 groups – no intake, moderate intake (less than 3 cups per day), or frequent intake (more than 3 cups per day). They further categorized tea consumption into green, black, or herbal.

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The investigators found that 5.2% of the participants had liver stiffness measurements ≥8.0 kPa and 34.6% steatosis. The proportion of liver stiffness measurements ≥8.0 kPa decreased with higher coffee consumption—7.8% for no coffee intake, 6.9% for moderate intake, and 4.1% for frequent intake.

Among participants who consumed tea, only herbal tea consumers (36.3%) had lower log-transformed liver stiffness measurements after adjustments. Subtypes of tea were associated with steatosis in the univariate analysis, but not in the multivariate analysis.

The researchers concluded that herbal tea consumption and daily consumption of at least 3 cups of coffee was linked to lower liver stiffness, independent of lifestyle and environmental factors.


  1. Alferink LJM, Fittipaldi J, Kiefte-de Jong JC, et al. Coffee and herbal tea consumption is associated with lower liver stiffness in the general population: The Rotterdam study. J Hepatol. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2017.03.013