Coffee lovers, here is yet another news about the health effects of coffee but this time its nothing in short of celebration! For most of us coffee is the first beverage of the day, something that cannot be missed at any cost to replenish us with the energy needed for pulling through the day. Since time immemorial, coffee has been acclaimed as an energy booster mostly because of the presence of caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant in the beverage which also holds responsibility for other health benefits as well. Coffee was associated with caffeine and only caffeine until some years back but now people have started choosing from a variety of caffeinated and decaffeinated options. Currently, coffee has been associated with protecting the body against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, stroke and heart health but don’t we also see articles very often debating over the ill effects of drinking coffee? Most of us don’t have a definite answer to the straightforward question whether coffee is good or bad for health. Maybe because the effects depend upon the quantity of the beverage consumed too! Concerned about the quantity of coffee you are consuming right now? Check whether your consumption falls within acceptable caffeine limits with the help of www.firsteatright.com.
Brown: The Color that Unites Fat & Coffee
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) or brown fat is one of the two types of fats found in all mammals including human beings. BAT was initially assumed to be found only in babies and hibernating mammals but thanks to repeated research we are now sure that adults too contain brown fat in their body. The other type of fat is white fat which is dangerous to the body when it goes beyond certain proportions (20% of body weight in men and 25% in women who are of a healthy weight). While white adipose tissue (WAT) is used for storing calories BAT is used for burning calories by generating body heat. So, people with a lower BMI have a higher amount of BAT while those with a higher BMI have a higher amount of WAT. While we are aware that BAT can have positive effects on the body until now researchers were not so sure on the acceptable ways in which this fat could be stimulated to actively benefit humans. By benefit, here it means to improve blood lipid levels, blood sugar levels and burning extra calories which helps in weight loss.
Obesity is playing havoc in human lives and despite steps to curb the obesity epidemic with lifestyle and dietary changes the numbers are only increasing. If we don’t do something sooner, we would be nurturing a generation of children who would reap the effects of our deeds. BAT plays a bigger role in burning calories and the study discussed here might be the first of its kind to show that a cup of coffee might have a direct impact on the brown fat functions-a fat that could hold the key to solving the obesity epidemic.
The research team initially started with a series of stem cell studies that worked towards finding out whether caffeine would stimulate brown fat and once they were sure about the results and the dosage, they applied the same to humans as well to check the results. Research shows that brown fat is concentrated mostly in the neck region. Thermal imaging technique is used to find the brown fat reserve in the body. The research team used this technique to locate BAT and also assess its capacity to produce heat. They imaged the neck region immediately after an individual drank coffee to test whether brown fat got hotter and indeed, it did bring a smile onto the faces of these researchers as the brown fat got hotter. The next step for these researchers would be to test whether it’s the effect of caffeine which stimulates this reaction or if there are other elements in the coffee that brings upon this effect. Caffeine supplements too are considered as to whether they would have the same effect on our body. Once definite results are achieved the same could be used in weight management to bring about desired results in individuals.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.