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Drinking 3 Cups of Coffee May Keep Body Fat and Diabetes Risk Away

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Coffee May Keep Body Fat and Diabetes Away. Credit: Eaeeae/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

A recent study published in the BMJ Medicine journal has suggested that caffeine present in beverages like coffee, green tea, and black tea may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study revealed that caffeine could potentially impact body fat and weight, leading to a reduced risk of developing the disease.

Mendelian Randomization

The study was conducted using a genetic method called Mendelian randomization, which allowed the researchers to analyze the impact of blood levels of caffeine on body fat and the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

The researchers reviewed DNA and other data from over 10,000 participants of mostly European origin who were taking part in six long-term studies.

Since the majority of the participants in the research were of European descent, it is possible that the findings may not generalize to other racial or ethnic groups. This is one of the limitations of the study.

In addition, the researchers considered just two of the genetic variations connected with the metabolism of caffeine. A person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes in proportion to the amount of caffeine they consume may also be influenced by other factors.

Results of the Findings

The findings indicated that those who had a genetic predisposition to have greater amounts of caffeine in their blood also had a lower body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage, as well as a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The research suggested that around 50% of the lowered diabetes risk was attributable to lower BMI.

An internal medicine physician and medical director with the Medical Offices of Manhattan in New York City, Dr. Denise Pate said, “Caffeine works as a thermogenic, meaning that it increases energy expenditure — you can think of it as micro-exercise.”

She further said, “caffeine has the properties of increasing satiety, meaning it suppresses the desire to eat, therefore leading to a lower BMI.”

Although past research has revealed that moderate coffee intake of three to five cups per day is related to a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses, this study gives fresh insights into the association between caffeine and type 2 diabetes risk.

Caffeine does not Prevent Diabetes

Nevertheless, the researchers cautioned that caffeine should not be recommended to individuals as a method of preventing them from acquiring diabetes.

Dr. Pate said, “As of now, I would not recommend people start drinking caffeine as a method to reduce their diabetic risk.”

Instead, people should focus on engaging in regular physical exercise and maintaining a nutritious diet, both of which are shown to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The researchers also looked for a connection between genetically predicted amounts of caffeine in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, they discovered no such connection. 

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