Scientists from Harvard University and elsewhere found that moderate coffee drinking may help reduce body fat.
Coffee is a popular drink that contains caffeine, which is known to affect our body weight.
Researchers wanted to find out if changes in coffee intake were linked to changes in our body fat, especially the fat around our organs, called visceral adipose tissue (VAT).
VAT is different from subcutaneous fat, which is located just beneath the skin.
VAT is associated with an increased risk of many health problems, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Therefore, reducing VAT can be an important aspect of weight management and overall health.
The study involved 1483 people who had metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is a condition that increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
They were part of a larger study looking at how a Mediterranean diet and exercise affected health.
The researchers measured the amount of coffee the participants drank using a questionnaire and used a special machine called dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure their body fat levels at the start of the study, and again after 6 months, 12 months, and 3 years.
The researchers found that people who increased their coffee intake from drinking it rarely (less than 3 cups per month) to drinking it moderately (1 to 7 cups per week) had lower levels of total body fat, trunk fat, and VAT after 3 years.
However, people who increased their coffee intake to high levels (more than 1 cup per day) did not show the same benefits. Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not have any effect on body fat.
In conclusion, the study showed that moderate drinking of caffeinated coffee over 3 years was linked to a reduction in body fat levels, especially the fat around organs, in people with MetS following a Mediterranean diet and exercise.
Decaffeinated coffee did not have the same benefits. This suggests that drinking moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee may be a helpful part of a weight management strategy.
The research was published in Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Matthias Henn et al.
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