Caffeine could help reduce fat and diabetes risk

He café It is the most consumed beverage in the world after water, and perhaps for this reason, its potential benefits and drawbacks have been discussed for years. The results of some studies indicate that the components of coffee can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, and its intake has also been related to a lower risk of developing liver cancer or endometrial cancer, or with protection against diseases cardiovascular.

A new study supports the positive effects of coffee, as it has linked some high levels of caffeine in blood with a reduction of weight and body fat and with less likely to suffer type 2 diabetes. The work has been carried out by an international team of researchers led by Susanna C. Larsson, from the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Stockholm University (Sweden), and their findings have been published in British Medical Journal.

The aim of the research was to find out the long-term effects of caffeine concentrations in the blood on the accumulation of body fat (adiposity), type 2 diabetes and major cardiovascular diseases. The investigators used the method of Mendelian randomization with genetic variants of nearly 10,000 people to analyze BMI (body mass index) and health problems such as type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and cardiovascular events.

The results have shown that higher concentrations of caffeine were associated with lower BMI and fat mass and less risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also indicate that about half of the effect of caffeine on type 2 diabetes is related to the decrease in body mass index, although the study authors have stressed that long-term clinical trials are necessary to confirm the findings.

Genetics influences whether you are more or less coffee

The Mendelian randomization method used in this study uses genetic variations with a known function to assess the causal effect of a risk factor. The researchers analyzed the CYP1A2 and AHR genes – which determine the speed at which the body processes caffeine – in 10,000 people. individuals with genetic variants People who cause caffeine to stay longer in their bloodstream tend to drink less coffee, but have higher concentrations of caffeine in their blood plasma.

The researchers found that higher genetically determined levels of caffeine in the blood were associated with lower weight and body fat and less risk of type 2 diabetes, and that weight loss promoted nearly half (43%) of the effect of caffeine on the risk of type 2 diabetes. They acknowledge, however, that the work has limitations, such as having used only two genetic variants and that all the participants are of European descent.

“Our Mendelian randomization finding suggests that caffeine could explain, at least in part, the inverse association between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes risk,” they wrote. Randomized controlled trials are warranted to assess whether non-caloric caffeine-containing beverages might contribute to reducing the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes”, they conclude.

“The results would somehow support the well-known protective effect of moderate coffee consumption on the risk of suffering and dying from the main non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes), also evidenced in Spanish cohort studies. However, some important aspects remain unclear, such as to what extent the plasma level represents regular caffeine consumption and what proportion is due to consumption of coffee or other foods such as chocolate or sugary caffeinated beverages that also contain other caffeine. unhealthy nutrients” has declared to SMC Spain jesus sawProfessor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and director of the Nutrition Epidemiology Unit of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche.

“The genetic study shows links and potential health benefits for individuals with certain genes that are attributed to faster coffee metabolism as an inherited trait, and potentially better metabolism. It does not study or recommend drinking more coffee, which was not the objective of this research. And, most importantly, when considering the consumption of coffee and energy drinks that contain caffeine, one must take into account the possible negative compensation for the excess calories in the form of sugar and fat of many of these drinks. Even for the option of increasing the use of calorie-free caffeinated beverages, a benefit has not yet been shown,” says Katarina Kos, Senior Lecturer in Diabetes and Obesity at the University of Exeter (United Kingdom), in statements to the same outlet.


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