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HHS HealthBeat (June 11, 2013)

Coffee with bile

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What is bile?

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

The liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC, is rare, but treatment can be difficult and PSC can lead to liver failure and cancer. So researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have been looking at ways to reduce the risk that people would get this disease, which affects the liver’s bile ducts. And researcher Craig Lammert suspects one might be found in coffee.

Lammert looked at patients with and without PSC, and found that patients with PSC were less likely to be coffee-drinkers.

“Coffee drinking specifically actually protects against PSC. I don ’t recommend my patients start drinking coffee, but if they’re already drinking, I say have at it.”

The study presented at a Digestive Disease Week conference was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 12, 2013