According to recent findings, coffee, one of the world’s favorite drinks, in addition to its attractive taste, can reduce weight and the risk of diabetes. The presence of caffeine in the blood can affect body fat levels and is a determining factor for the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This fact is part of a new finding that uses genetic markers to correlate blood caffeine levels with BMI and type 2 diabetes risk.
According to the research team consisting of scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the University of Bristol in the UK, and Imperial College London, caffeinated and calorie-free drinks may be potential tools for helping to reduce body fat levels. The team writes in their article: ‘Genetic prediction of higher blood caffeine concentrations being associated with lower BMI and related adiposity traits implies a causal effect of caffeine intake on the risk of type 2 diabetes. Our findings suggest that nearly half of caffeine’s effect on diabetes occurs through a reduction in BMI.’
According to Science Alert, a recent study involving data from less than a thousand individuals collected from existing genetic databases revealed that the focus was mainly on changes in specific genes or genes close to them that were related to the rate of caffeine breakdown in the body.
Generally, genes such as CYP1A2 or the regulator gene known as AHR slow down the breakdown of caffeine and allow this substance to stay in the blood for longer; however, it should also be noted that individuals with this gene generally have less tendency to drink coffee.
In this study, a method called Mendelian randomization was used to determine potential causal relationships between variables such as diabetes and body mass index and lifestyle. The results of these investigations confirmed the significant association between caffeine levels and body mass index and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while there was no relationship between the amount of caffeine in the blood and cardiovascular diseases such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure and stroke.
Previous studies have demonstrated a relationship between average and relative caffeine consumption and improved heart health and reduced body mass index. The recent study adds more details to our previous knowledge about the effects of coffee on the body.
A very important point to consider in this regard is that the effects of caffeine on the body are not only positive and the harms of consuming this drink should also be carefully evaluated; recent studies have taken a big step in assessing the ideal amount of coffee consumption.
According to researchers, their small and short-term studies show that caffeine consumption leads to weight and fat mass reduction, but the long-term effects of this practice are still unknown to them. According to this team, the discovered correlation may be due to the method of caffeine for increasing heat production in the body and the oxidation of fat (conversion of fat into energy), both of which play a very important role in overall metabolism.
Despite recent findings, more research needs to be done to confirm this cause and effect relationship. The recent study was conducted on a large sample, but Mendelian randomization is not convincing, and other factors may also be effective in this area, which were not considered in this study. The researchers involved in this study write in part of their article:
This study was published in BMJ Medicine journal.