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Turns out Coffee Could Be the Drink You Need to Fight Obesity

Coffee tastes delicious, it gives us an energy boost, and it may be a key component in fighting obesity and diabetes.

The benefits and drawbacks of drinking coffee have been the subject of much investigation over the years, but a recent study conducted on humans by the University of Nottingham (and published in the journal, Scientific Reports) has focused on how drinking a cup of coffee can stimulate brown adipose tissue (BAT) also known as “brown fat.”

According to Medical News Today, “brown fat” is often considered the “good” fat, while white or yellow fat is a result of too many calories and is associated with a number of health problems. On the other hand, brown fat can help individuals maintain a healthy body weight, as its main function is to produce heat by burning sugar and fat. Now, researchers have found evidence that suggests coffee can have a direct effect on brown fat functions and how we burn calories as energy.

Science Daily notes that the research has been referred to as a “pioneering study” and researchers are clearly excited about the results. Co-director of the study, Professor Michael Symonds, stated: "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."

Professor Symonds also explains the function of brown fat noting that “increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss.” Yet until recently, there was no evidence to suggest a safe way to stimulate brown fat in humans.

Researchers examined the effect of caffeine on brown fat using a thermal imaging technique, assessing its functions as soon as the participants consumed a cup of coffee.

“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,” Symonds explained. “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 a glucose regulation program to help prevent diabetes.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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