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Science: Decaffeinated coffee (and regular) link with decreased body fat in women, but not men

According to scientists at Anglia Ruskin University, writing in the Journal of Nutrition, there is a possible link between coffee (regular or decaffeinated) and female body fat.

How was the research carried out?

The scientists examined data on the trunk & body fat of 6,000 American adults aged between 20 to 69 and coffee consumption habits.

What were the results?

  • Women aged 20-44, who drank two to three cups of coffee a day, had lower total body fat and trunk body fat than those who did not drink coffee.
  • Women aged 45 to 69,who drank four or more cups of coffee, had lower total and trunk body fat than those who did not drink coffee.
  • Men aged 20-44, who dranks two to three cups of regular or decaffeinated coffee, had 1.3% less body fat than those who did not consume coffee., but no link was found for men of other ages.

What were the conclusions?

  • It seems that women who drink coffee have less body fat than those who do not…
  • Indeed, higher coffee consumption was associated with significantly lower total body fat in women.
  • Since the effect was the same for decaf or regular coffee, the research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee, other than caffeine, that regulate weight.

What did the scientists say?

Dr Lee Smith, Reader in public health at Anglia Ruskin University and Senior Author of the study, said:

“Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight and which could potentially be used as anti-obesity compounds. It could be that coffee, or its effective ingredients, could be integrated into a healthy diet strategy to reduce the burden of chronic conditions related to the obesity epidemic. It is important to interpret the findings of this study in light of its limitations – the study was at a specific point in time so trends cannot be established. However, we don’t believe that someone’s weight is likely to influence their coffee consumption.”

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