A new research has revealed that women who drink two or three cups of coffee a day have been found to have lower total body and abdominal fat than those who drink less.
The study indicated that some compounds in coffee may have anti-obesity properties.
Overall, the average total body fat percentage was 2.8 per cent lower among women of all ages who drank two or three cups of coffee per day and the findings were consistent whether the coffee consumed was caffeinated or decaffeinated, and among smokers/non-smokers and those suffering from chronic diseases when compared to those in good health.
In men, the relationship was less significant, although men aged 20-44 who drank two or three cups per day had 1.3 per cent less total fat and 1.8 per cent less trunk fat than those who did not consume coffee, according to the study published in The Journal of Nutrition.
“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,” said Dr Lee Smith, senior study author from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.
To reach this conclusion, researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, organised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US, and looked at the relationship between cups of coffee drunk per day, and both total body fat percentage and abdominal or ‘trunk’ fat (adiposity).
They found that women aged 20-44 who drank two or three cups of coffee per day had the lowest levels of adiposity, 3.4 per cent lower than people who did not consume coffee.
Among women aged between 45-69, those who drank four or more cups had an adiposity percentage 4.1 per cent lower.
“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,” said Smith, adding that it is important to interpret the findings of this study in light of its limitations.
Coffee naturally contains a variety of compounds including caffeine, antioxidants and diterpenes. These contribute not only to the unique flavour but also to the well-researched physiological effects of coffee.