Caffeine levels in your blood can affect the amount of fat in your body, which in turn can determine your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
These are the findings of a new study that used genetic markers to determine a clearer link between caffeine intake, BMI and risk of type 2 diabetes.
A research team from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, the University of Bristol in the UK and Imperial College London in the UK says calorie-free caffeinated drinks could be investigated as a possible way to help reduce body fat levels.
“Genetically predicted higher plasma caffeine concentrations were associated with lower body mass index and total body fat mass,” write the researchers in their published paper.
“Furthermore, genetically predicted higher plasma caffeine concentrations were associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. About half of the effect of caffeine on type 2 diabetes risk was mediated by a reduction in BMI.”
The study involved data from just under 10,000 people, collected from existing genetic databases, focusing onariots in or near certain genes known to be related to the rate of caffeine breakdown. Usually those whose variations are affected genes – namely CYP1A2 and the gene that regulates it, AHR – tend to break down caffeine more slowly, allowing it to stay in the blood longer. Yet they also tend to drink less caffeine.
A method called Mendelian randomization was used for preventionMy probable causal links between variations, diseases such as diabetes, weight and lifestyle factors.
Although there was a significant association between caffeine levels, BMI and risk of type 2 diabetes, no association was found between blood caffeine levels and cardiovascular diseases such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure and stroke.
Previous studies have linked moderate and moderate increases in caffeine consumption to better heart health and a lower body mass index, and a new study adds more detail to what we already know about coffee’s effects on the body.
It is also important to keep in mind the effects of caffeine on the body not all are positivewhich means must be careful when weighing the benefits of drinking it – but this latest study is an important step in assessing how much caffeine is ideal.
“Small, short-term studies have shown that caffeine intake reduces weight and fat mass, but the long-term effects of caffeine intake are unknown,” the researchers write.
The team believes that the connection seen here may be due to the way caffeine increases thermogenesis (heat production) and fat oxidation (turning fat into energy), both of which play an important role in overall metabolism.
However, more research is needed to confirm cause and effect. Although this study involved a large sample, Mendelian randomization is not infallible, and it is still possible that there are other factors at play that were not considered in this study.
“Given the high intake of caffeine worldwide, even its small metabolic effects may have significant health consequences,” the researchers write.
The study was published in BMJ Medicine.