A recent study showed that high blood levels of caffeine can reduce body fat and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Swedish researchers have found that drinking just three cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The findings may lead to the use of calorie-free caffeinated beverages to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes, but more research is needed.
The researchers used genes that determine how quickly people metabolize caffeine to estimate potential caffeine levels in nearly 800,000 people and studied their weight.
The results, published in BMJ Medicine, show that those who consumed the most caffeine had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI). They also had, on average, a lower percentage of body fat and were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Previous research has already shown that coffee is good for burning fat and that those who drink three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
But these studies are observational, making it difficult to determine whether the effects are due to caffeine or other compounds.
Therefore, a recent study used a technique known as Mendelian randomization, which identifies cause and effect using genetic data.
The team found two common genetic variants associated with caffeine metabolic rate (CYP1A2 and AHR) and used them to calculate genetically predicted caffeine blood levels and whether it was associated with lower body mass index and body fat.
Participants carrying genetic variants associated with slower caffeine metabolism drank less coffee on average but had higher blood caffeine levels than those who metabolized it quickly.
The researchers found that the reduction in type 2 diabetes risk was almost half due to weight loss.
Caffeine is known to speed up metabolism, increase fat burning, and reduce appetite, and consumption of 100 mg per day increases energy expenditure by about 100 calories per day. The average cup of coffee contains 70 to 150 mg of caffeine.
However, coffee also contains other compounds, such as diterpenes, that may be less beneficial to your metabolism.
The study found that people with higher levels of caffeine based on their genes were not at lower risk of serious cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart failure.
“Our results suggest that caffeine may explain, at least in part, the association between coffee consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Independent experts said the study is consistent with other evidence that suggests caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11%.
More research will be needed to understand the link between drinking more coffee and weight loss, given that caffeinated beverages may also have adverse effects on public health.
Notably, type 2 diabetes is the most common and occurs when the insulin produced by the pancreas does not work properly, or the pancreas cannot produce enough of this hormone. This means that the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood becomes too high.
It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it does not show symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Obesity can also be considered a “silent killer” as it can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, strokes, heart failure, and artery disease.
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