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Drinking coffee 'could help weight loss'

Sky News logo Sky News 24/6/2019

Those who struggle to get through the day without a cup of coffee or two will be pleased to hear that researchers believe it may help boost weight loss.

a cup of coffee on a table: Coffee could help boost weight loss, a new study suggests © PA Coffee could help boost weight loss, a new study suggests

Experts have found that the beverage stimulates a type of fat that burns calories to generate body heat, meaning drinking a cup could help you lose weight.

Professor Michael Symonds, from the school of medicine at the University of Nottingham, explained that the "brown fat" charged by coffee was different to "white fat" in the body, which occurs as a result of excess calories.

a person holding a cup of coffee: The drink stimulates a type of fat that aids the burning of calories © Getty The drink stimulates a type of fat that aids the burning of calories

Those with a lower body mass index tend to have a higher amount of brown fat, and Mr Symonds said the new findings could be significant in helping to tackle obesity and diabetes.

a hand holding an object in his hand: Experts believe the findings could be significant in tackling obesity and diabetes © Other Experts believe the findings could be significant in tackling obesity and diabetes

He added: "Brown fat works in a different way to other fat in your body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold.

"Increasing its activity improves blood sugar control as well as improving blood lipid levels and the extra calories burnt help with weight loss."

The study, co-directed by Mr Symonds and written up in the journal Scientific Reports, fused stem cells to see if caffeine would stimulate brown fat before moving on to humans.

Using a thermal imaging technique, they were able to trace brown fat reserves in the body as they emitted heat and the results were described as positive.

Mr Symonds said: "From our previous work, we knew that brown fat is mainly located in the neck region, so we were able to image someone straight after they had a drink to see if the brown fat got hotter.

"The results were positive and we now need to ascertain that caffeine as one of the ingredients in the coffee is acting as the stimulus or if there's another component helping with the activation of brown fat.

"We are currently looking at caffeine supplements to test whether the effect is similar.

"Once we have confirmed which component is responsible for this, it could potentially be used as part of a weight management regime or as part of glucose regulation programme to help prevent diabetes."

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