Scientists in Sweden say calorie-free caffeinated drinks should be a major focus when it comes to tackling weight gain and the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
A study shows the greatest benefit appears among those with a genetic predisposition to metabolize caffeine much slower than others, leaving more of the substance in their blood. Prior research has linked drinking three to five cups of coffee a day with lower risks of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Scientists already know that the stimulant boosts metabolism, increases fat burning, and reduces appetite. Consuming 100 mg a day (around one cup of coffee) increases energy expenditure by an estimated 100 calories daily.
In the latest development, the Karolinska Intitutet team found that people who metabolize caffeine slowly — due to certain genes — increased the amount of caffeine in the blood. This increased the fat-burning impact of the stimulant, and reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes.
High blood caffeine levels displayed a link with lower weight, body fat, and risk of Type 2 diabetes onset — provided they were among the group with the genes dictating slower caffeine consumption and had higher caffeine blood level scores.
Further results revealed weight loss drove 43 percent of caffeine’s effect on Type 2 diabetes risk.
The team also studied the effect on cardiovascular disease risk, but they did not discover a strong link to genetically-predicted blood caffeine levels. The team studied 10,000 people, predominantly of European descent, all of whom were already taking part in six long-term studies.