Caffeine may be linked to decrease in body fat, type 2 diabetes risk
Though it is unclear what the diverse effects of consuming large amounts of caffeine might be, it has been found to be linked to the reduction of body fat and the risk of type 2 diabetes,
High levels of caffeine present in one's blood may lower the amount of body fat carried, while reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers have found.
Researchers wrote in the BMJ Medicine journal that their findings might lead to the usage of calorie-free caffeinated drinks as a sort of remedy to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The research showed potential health benefits for people with high levels of caffeine in their blood, though it neither studies nor recommends drinking more coffee, as it was not the purpose of the research, said University of Exter senior lecturer in diabetes and obesity Dr. Katarina Kos.
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However, Kos explained that caffeinated drinks containing sugar and fat would offset the positive effects.
Researchers have said their work was founded on previously published research, which suggested that drinking three-to-five cups of coffee containing an average of 70-150mg of caffeine on a daily basis was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Due to the studies in question being observational, it is unclear whether the effects were caused by caffeine or other compounds. However, the latest study used a technique known as Mendelian randomization, which establishes cause and effect through genetic evidence.
The researchers went on to find two common gene variants associated with the speed at which caffeine is metabolized and used them to work out genetically-predicted blood caffeine levels, and whether this was associated with lower BMI and body fat.
Individuals who inherit genetic variations associated with slower caffeine metabolism drink less coffee on average, yet have higher levels of caffeine in their blood than people who metabolize it rapidly.
The study's findings showed that weight loss was responsible for almost half of the risk reduction for type 2 diabetes. With a daily consumption of 100mg, caffeine is thought to enhance energy expenditure by roughly 100 calories. It is also known to promote fat burning, boost metabolism, and lower hunger.
The study was "interesting" and employed "good science," according to Dr. Stephen Lawrence, an associate clinical professor at the University of Warwick's medical school. However, he underlined that the Mendelian assessment was a "relatively new technique" and that it was "susceptible to bias", though helpful.
"This represents good hypothesis-forming or idea-forming science. It does not, however, prove cause and effect. We, therefore, need to be cautious not to rush to over-interpret it," he said, noting that it could lead to future studies that could, with time, develop promising treatments.
"Should people drink more coffee to reduce fat or diabetes risk? The science suggests relatively good evidence that consuming caffeine increases fat burning, even at rest. However, it does not constitute a treatment for obesity and, used wrongly, may result in weight gain or even harm," he concluded.