HIV patients who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are twice as likely to survive than those that drink less coffee, a new study has found.
The French National Institute of Health and National Agency for AIDS and Hepatitis Research found that patients who sought treatment for their HCV, a usual come-along disease with HIV, and drank at least three cups of coffee a day without smoking, fared far better than their counterparts.
HIV patients are more vulnerable to other infections like, hepatitis C (HCV), a disease that attacks and inflames the liver, increasing the risk of liver disease and liver cancer.
Coffee is known to help protect the liver, and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Also, recent research has associated coffee with better life expectancy in general, suggesting that coffee consumption should be part of a healthy diet.
A healthy diet is generally important to the prevention and maintenance of liver, which can develop fatty build-ups while trying to process too much of certain substances like sugar.
Treatments for both diseases; HCV and HIV have greatly improved over the past few years. Life-expectancy for patients infected with either or both disease are able to live to almost normal ages.
Hepatitis C on its own is now curable in most patients, but still, both infections put patients at a higher risk for deadly liver diseases.
According to the study, even when HCV is cured, HIV leads to “an accelerated aging process,” that can lead to heart problems and continued liver deterioration.
The study, which had a research population of 1,028 patients, found that those that had ‘elevated’ coffee consumption, more than three cups a day, were half as likely to succumb to their infections during the five-year course of the research.
It is, however, unclear whether coffee itself or its caffeine has the beneficial effects for the liver.
But coffee on its own seems to help reduce the enzymes overproduced by an unhealthy liver, and the slow development of scar tissue that occurs in diseased livers.
A separate research by the European Association for the Study of the Liver backs coffee’s benefit to the liver. Its study said that coffee may also help to prevent the liver from becoming resistant to insulin.
Lead author, Dr. Maria Patrizia Carrieri of Aix Marseille University in Marseille, France, says that subjects that drank more than three cups of coffee had better survival rates regardless of whether or not the coffee was caffeinated.
It is agreed that caffeine is the reason of the more negative health effects of coffee, like anxiety or insomnia.
Most importantly, the positive effects of coffee are diminished or counteracted by adding other ingredients like sugar or syrups that are actually damaging to the liver.
HIV patients have an 80 percent better survival rate if they drank three or more cups of coffee a day and had been cured of HCV. Patients that still suffered from both HIV and HCV and drank three or more cups still had a 50 percent better survival rate than those drinking less coffee.
Patients that still suffer from both HIV and HCV and drink three or more cups still have a 50 percent better survival rate than those drinking less coffee.
The study also tracked the smoking status of the patients and found that not smoking greatly increased the odds of a patients survival. Though less strongly correlated, lifestyle factors like having a steady partner were also linked to better survival rates.