Drinking coffee may help battle obesity

  • 25-June-2019

Drinking coffee may animate the body's own fat-battling defences, which could be the way to handling corpulence and diabetes, a study claims.

The study, published in the diary Scientific Reports, is one of the first to be completed in people to discover parts which could directly affect 'darker fat' functions, which assumes a key role in how rapidly we can copy calories as energy.

Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, is one of two types of fat found in humans and other mammals, said researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK.

At first just credited to babies and hibernating mammals, it was discovered in recent years that adults can have brown fat too.

Its main function is to generate body heat by burning calories, opposed to white fat, which is a result of storing excess calories.

People with a lower weight record (BMI) hence have a higher measure of darker fat.

“Brown fat works in a different way to other fat in your body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold,” said Professor Michael Symonds, from the University of Nottingham.

“Increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss. However, until now, no one has found an acceptable way to stimulate its activity in humans,” said Symonds.

“This is the first study in humans to show that something like a cup of coffee can have a direct effect on our brown fat functions.

“The potential implications of our results are pretty big, as obesity is a major health concern for society and we also have a growing diabetes epidemic and brown fat could potentially be part of the solution in tackling them,” he said.

The team began with a progression of undeveloped cell studies to check whether caffeine would invigorate dark colored fat.

When they had discovered the correct portion, they at that point proceeded onward to people to check whether the outcomes were comparative.

The team utilized a warm imaging technique, which they had recently spearheaded, to follow the body's dark colored fat stores. The non-intrusive strategy causes the group to find dark colored fat and survey its ability to deliver heat.

“From our previous work, we knew that brown fat is mainly located in the neck region, so we were able to image someone straight after they had a drink to see if the brown fat got hotter,” said Symonds.

“The results were positive and we now need to ascertain that caffeine as one of the ingredients in the coffee is acting as the stimulus or if there’s another component helping with the activation of brown fat. We are currently looking at caffeine supplements to test whether the effect is similar.

“Once we have confirmed which component is responsible for this, it could potentially be used as part of a weight management regime or as part of glucose regulation programme to help prevent diabetes,” he said.

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