Could coffee be the secret to fighting obesity? -- ScienceDaily
2019-07-11 20:56

Scientists from the University of Nottingham have discovered that drinking a cup of coffee can stimulate 'brown fat', the body's own fat-fighting defenses, which could be the key to tackling obesity and diabetes.


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 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.


Professor Michael Symonds, from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham who co-directed the study said: "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. However, until now, no one has found an acceptable way to stimulate its activity in humans.

参与指导研究的诺丁汉大学医学院的教授 Michael Symonds说:“褐色脂肪在身体里运作的方式与其他脂肪不同,并且通过燃烧糖分和脂肪来产生热量,通常是对于寒冷的反应。提升其活跃度可以更好地控制血糖,也可以提高血脂类代谢和多余卡路里的消耗可以帮助人们减肥。然后,直到目前,没人发现一个可接受的方法在人体内积累它的活性”。

"This is the first study in humans to show that something like a cup of coffee can have a direct effect on our brown fat functions. The potential implications of our results are pretty big, as obesity is a major health concern for society and we also have a growing diabetes epidemic and brown fat could potentially be part of the solution in tackling them."


The team started with a series of stem cell studies to see if caffeine would stimulate brown fat. Once they had found the right dose, they then moved on to humans to see if the results were similar.

团队从一系列肝细胞开始研究,去考证是否咖啡 因会积累褐色脂肪。一旦他们发现了适合的剂量,便会运用到人体并查看结果是否相似。

The team used a thermal imaging technique, which they'd previously pioneered, to trace the body's brown fat reserves. The non-invasive technique helps the team to locate brown fat and assess its capacity to produce heat.

团队应用热能成像技术,这可以事先在人体内追踪褐色脂肪的储量。 这一非侵入性技术帮助团队定位褐色脂肪并且评判褐色脂肪产生热量的能力。

"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.

结果是肯定的并且我们现在需要明确咖啡 因是咖啡中的有效成分促使激发褐色脂肪亦或者是有其他成分帮助激活褐色脂肪。我们目前在测试含有咖啡 因的补充剂是否具有相似的作用。

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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Materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

材料由诺丁汉大学提供. 注:内容的风格和长度可能被编辑

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