Today’s modern world has made us into coffee-crazed fanatics. With quick turnaround times, approaching deadlines and instantaneous results, getting left behind on the daily report is the last thing we want, and coffee is one of the few drinks that can help us stay awake long enough to send that email.
But between all this caffeine-induced haze that is our daily lives, all this drinking has to account for something good, right?
Thankfully, yes. Apparently, a new study revealed that our tall espresso cups can help burn calories and therefore help us lose weight.
You have to thank Michael Symonds for that information. He is a professor at the University of Nottingham and the study’s co-director. According to him, they were recently able to find that coffee can stimulate what we know as brown fat, which are our body’s first line of defence when it comes to burning fat.
The pioneering study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, is one of the first to be carried out in humans to find components which could have a direct effect on ‘brown fat’ functions, an important part of the human body which plays a key role in how quickly we can burn calories as energy.
“Brown fat is a unique organ that is used for producing heat. It’s present in quite small amounts in the body,” Symonds recently said in a release.
Also known as brown adipose tissue, brown fat generally impacts how quickly our body can burn calories, especially when our body produces heat and uses energy.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT), also known as brown fat, is one of two types of fat found in humans and other mammals. Initially only attributed to babies and hibernating mammals, it was discovered in recent years that adults can have brown fat too. Its main function is to generate body heat by burning calories (opposed to white fat, which is a result of storing excess calories).
People with a lower body mass index (BMI) therefore have a higher amount of brown fat.
Previously, brown fat is thought to only exist in hibernating mammals and babies. However, it’s now been discovered that human adults have it too, and coffee can help stimulate it.
According to the study published by the University, people who have a lower body mass index have more brown fat in their bodies than people who have a higher mass body index.
Furthermore, adults have around 50 to 100 grams of brown fat in their bodies. When activated, all these can produce 300 times more heat than any other organ present in our body and can produce up to 10 per cent of our body’s daily heat.
According to Symonds, this is the first-ever study that shows how an energising cup of coffee can affect how brown fat is utilised.
“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,” said Professor Symonds.
“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,” he concluded.
Source: Medical Daily