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article imageCoffee could help fight obesity

By Tim Sandle     Jun 28, 2019 in Science
Looking for a way to help fight obesity or a strategy to assist with weight loss? Coffee could be the answer, according to new research. But coffee drinkers will have to go without milk or sugar in order to gain the benefits.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham (U.K.) have found that drinking one cup of coffee per day can stimulate 'brown fat', the body's own fat-fighting defences, which could be an important factor in tackling the related conditions of obesity and diabetes. The regulation of brown fat plays an important role in how quickly we can burn calories as energy.
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There are two main types of fat (adipose tissue)—brown and white—and both play different roles. White fat stores energy as large fat droplets (essentially a storage depot for extra calories); while brown fat has much smaller droplets and is specialized to burn them, yielding heat. Brown fat is designed to generate heat and help regulate body temperature.Previous research has revealed that people with a lower body mass index (BMI) therefore have a higher amount of brown fat.
The research began with stem cell studies which assessed whether caffeine could stimulate brown fat. This indicated that caffeine did. Once the optimal dose had been established, the research progressed to humans to see what happens. To assess this the researchers deployed thermal imaging in order to trace the body's brown fat reserves. The results were positive, and further study will be conducted.
According to lead researcher Professor Michael Symonds, in relation to the basis for the research: "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 research is published in the journal Scienfic Reports, and the study is titled "Caffeine exposure induces browning features in adipose tissue in vitro and in vivo."
More about Coffee, Obesity, Weight, Weight loss, Caffeine
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