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Study says single cup of coffee can help the body burn calories

posted Oct 16, 2019, 5:10 AM by Ryan Quinn   [ updated Oct 16, 2019, 5:13 AM ]
Java junkies, drink up!  Yet another reason to drink coffee comes via a study conducted by University of Nottingham researchers: coffee helps burn calories in a specific way.

At issue is a substance called "brown fat" -- which, unlike white fat, is actually beneficial. Brown fat burns calories by generating body warmth that melts sugar and fat. And coffee kicks brown fat into gear, according to the university study.

This was a revolutionary find, noted university professor and study co-author Michael Symonds. "[U]ntil now, no one has found an acceptable way to stimulate its activity in humans."

He explained, "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," adding, "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."

Brown fat is centered in the neck, primarily.  The university study actually showed, through the use of thermal imagery, the substance heating up after test subjects drank coffee. Symonds noted, "[W]e 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." 

Once that component is isolated, it could be used as part of a healthcare regimen says the study, which was published in the science journal Nature.