Too much coffee linked to weight gain, heart risk and diabetes

You may have cut back on your coffee intake as new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that too much coffee, including decaffeinated, could be bad for your health.

Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant. It may also act as a mild appetite suppressantand can help to reduce cravings for snacks or sweets, provided you drink it black and don’t add sugar or dairy products, because coffee itself has very few calories and no fat.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee in moderation could help with weight loss and decrease the risk of diabetes, and help lower the chances of a stroke and certain forms of cancer due to chlorogenic acid – known as CGA, which is a compound found in coffee.

However, the consumption of caffeine in other studies has also been reported to increase the release of fatty acids, decrease sensitivity to insulin, and increase blood pressure, and this new research further confirms this, adding that drinking five or more cups a day may be linked to weight gain, increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The study conducted by the Western Australia's School of Medicine and Pharmacology was trying to find the cardiovascular benefits of CGA, but instead discovered that the greater amount of coffee consumed, increased the amount of fat around the organs in the abdomen.

The study was out over a period of 12 weeks on mice. The mice were given the equivalent amount of CGA found infive or six cups of coffee per day and their findings showed greater fat retention, a greater glucose intolerance and increased resistance to insulin regulation.

Assistant Prof Vance Matthews, of the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, and co-author of the study said: ““This study proved the opposite, in dosages equivalent to five or six cups of coffee per day. We found that the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day had a tendency to increase weight gain, particularly in regards to visceral fat.”

Matthews is not advocating completely removing the popular pick-me-up beverage from our diets, but is talking about moderation.

“Everybody knows about the effects of caffeine, but when we’re considering our lifestyle choices, it’s important to remember that compounds such as CGA can have an effect on our health if they’re not consumed in moderation. It seems that the health effects are dose-dependent. A moderate intake of coffee, up to three to four cups a day still seems to decrease the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes,” he said.

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