Blood caffeine can affect body fat and diabetes risk, study finds: ScienceAlert

The levels of caffeine in your blood can affect the amount of body fat you carry, a factor that can in turn determine your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These are the findings of a new study that used genetic markers to establish a more specific link between caffeine levels, body mass index, and type 2 diabetes risk.

The research team, from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the University of Bristol in the UK, and Imperial College London in the UK, say that calorie-free beverages containing caffeine could be explored as a potential way to help reduce levels of body fat.

“Higher genetically predicted caffeine concentrations were associated with lower BMI and whole body fat mass,” the researchers wrote in their published paper.

“Furthermore, higher genetically predicted caffeine concentrations were associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Half of the effect of caffeine on the liability for type 2 diabetes has been estimated to be through a reduction in body mass index.”

The study included data from fewer than 10,000 individuals collected from existing genetic databases, with a focus on variations in or near specific genes known to be associated with the speed of caffeine breakdown. In general, those who have differences affect Genes — namely CYP1A2 and the gene that regulates it, called AHR — tend to break down caffeine more slowly, allowing it to stay in the blood longer. However, they also tend to drink less caffeine overall.

An approach called Mendelian randomization was used for deterrencePossible causal relationships between the presence of differences and diseases such as diabetes, body mass index and lifestyle factors.

While there was a significant association between caffeine levels, body mass index, and risk of type 2 diabetes, no relationship was shown between the amount of caffeine in the blood and cardiovascular disease including atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and stroke.

Previous studies have linked moderate, relative increases in caffeine consumption to improved heart health and a lower body mass index, and the new research adds more detail to what we already know about the effects of coffee on the body.

It is also important to keep in mind the effects of caffeine on the body Not all of them are positiveWhich means Caution must be taken When evaluating the benefits of drinking it – but this latest study is an important step in evaluating the ideal caffeine intake.

“Small, short-term trials have shown that caffeine intake results in reduced weight and fat mass, but the long-term effects of caffeine intake are unknown,” the researchers write.

The team believes the link shown here could be due to the way caffeine increases thermogenesis (heat production) and lipooxidation (the conversion of fat into energy) in the body, both of which play important roles in overall metabolism.

However, more research will be needed to confirm cause and effect. While this study included a large sample, Mendelian randomization is not infallible, and it is still possible that other factors were involved that were not considered in this study.

“Given the widespread intake of caffeine worldwide, even its small metabolic effects can have important health implications,” the researchers write.

Research published in BMJ Medicine.


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