Coffee has always had a mixed reaction when it comes to headlines. For every positive study, there’s always been a negative alternative, leaving conflicting messages about our morning brew. However, the latest news is that regularly drinking coffee could help you lose weight.
Your body contains two types of fat: white and brown. White fat is the stuff people want to shift if they need or want to lose weight, as it can be detrimental to health in excess. Adipose tissue, aka brown fat, on the other hand, is good, as it helps keep your body insulated. It takes an enormous amount of energy to burn brown fat to stay warm. Interestingly, many slim people have a relatively high percentage of brown fat, whereas overweight people tend to have less of it. Brown fat burns sugar and other fats to generate heat and is normally only activated when your body is cold.
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A new study from the School of Medicine at Nottingham University, has looked at the effect of coffee drinking on brown fat in humans, with very interesting results. The team used thermal imaging to look at brown fat reserves before and after people drank a cup of coffee. They were able to see whether the fat – located in this case around the neck – was activated and got hotter as a result of coffee consumption.
“Our study showed that a cup of coffee stimulates the activity of brown fat,” says Professor Michael Symonds, who co-directed the research. “This has the potential to help increase your weight loss, as brown fat contains a special protein called Uncoupling protein 1. When activated, it is the reason brown fat can rapidly produce so much heat – approximately 300 times per gram compared with any other tissue.” All of that adds up to a hefty calorie burn and may well help weight loss. Here are a few more reasons you might want to brew some coffee this month for you and your loved ones: