Could coffee help you lose weight? New research suggests a fat-busting effect

Studies have shown that a morning cup of coffee could be good for you, when sipped in moderation. CNN Health Writer Jacqueline Howard shares how to brew your way to some health benefits.

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 9:05 AM


Drinking coffee could activate the body's fat-fighting defenses, a discovery that could have potential implications in the battle against obesity and diabetes.

In a study published Monday, researchers at the University of Nottingham said that coffee may help stimulate our brown fat reserves, also known as brown adipose tissue, which play a key role in how quickly we can burn calories.

There are two forms of fat cells, brown cells and white cells, and each plays a different role in our metabolism.

While brown cells help generate heat, white cells are responsible for the storage of fat -- or, energy -- ready for release as needed. Levels of brown fat are known to be high in children but recent findings on the presence of brown fat in adults has restored hope to use them as targets to treat obesity.

"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, said professor Michael Symonds, from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, who co-directed the study.

"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."

The scientists started by testing out coffee on stem cells to see if it would stimulate brown fat. Once they found the right dose, they moved on to humans to see if the results were similar.

The team used a thermal imaging technique on four men and five women to trace the brown fat reserves and see how it produced heat.

"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," Symonds said.

So will drinking a cup of coffee help you lose weight, as well as get out of bed?

The study only involved nine people and the research is still at a very early stage. Scientists say they still need to determine what it is exactly about coffee that busts fat.

"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," Symonds said.

"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 program to help prevent diabetes."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108646

Reported Deaths: 3478
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20341757
Lake10013312
Elkhart6198106
St. Joseph586796
Allen5785198
Hamilton4600109
Vanderburgh318126
Hendricks2607120
Monroe224336
Johnson2241122
Tippecanoe211313
Clark205056
Porter197843
Cass19209
Delaware180159
Vigo169621
Madison153075
LaPorte134837
Floyd127961
Howard125163
Kosciusko116717
Bartholomew113257
Warrick104134
Marshall97423
Boone93846
Dubois92118
Hancock89242
Noble86432
Grant85132
Henry73424
Jackson7259
Wayne72214
Morgan68038
Shelby65529
LaGrange62811
Daviess61627
Dearborn61428
Clinton59111
Harrison54824
Putnam5098
Lawrence49928
Montgomery49421
White47114
Knox4659
Decatur44739
Gibson4344
DeKalb42511
Miami4202
Greene40935
Fayette40413
Jasper3732
Scott34410
Steuben3447
Sullivan32612
Jennings30512
Franklin29225
Posey2900
Clay2855
Orange27924
Ripley2768
Carroll26713
Wabash2547
Washington2491
Whitley2456
Wells2422
Starke2387
Jefferson2363
Adams2303
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2073
Randolph2047
Perry20014
Spencer1984
Jay1640
Newton16411
Owen1621
Martin1560
Rush1484
Pike1331
Vermillion1210
Fountain1152
Pulaski1121
Blackford1072
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke902
Benton880
Union760
Ohio757
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 141585

Reported Deaths: 4580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25445600
Cuyahoga16907638
Hamilton12559307
Montgomery7334148
Lucas7017356
Butler548798
Summit5020246
Marion304947
Mahoning2968279
Warren285648
Stark2673168
Pickaway261944
Lorain222786
Delaware206920
Fairfield197650
Columbiana190778
Trumbull1837131
Licking182461
Clark169337
Wood162271
Clermont157919
Lake154849
Medina140538
Allen133767
Miami131249
Greene128826
Portage104566
Mercer102017
Tuscarawas90719
Wayne89266
Erie87144
Ross84322
Richland76918
Madison76412
Darke74539
Belmont70427
Geauga69747
Hancock6419
Ashtabula63748
Athens5692
Lawrence56918
Sandusky55020
Auglaize5479
Shelby5428
Huron5207
Putnam50919
Ottawa46430
Union4622
Scioto4496
Seneca41814
Preble41113
Holmes3687
Muskingum3622
Jefferson3174
Logan2893
Henry28512
Champaign2833
Perry2839
Knox27615
Clinton27513
Brown2712
Defiance26910
Morrow2482
Hardin24613
Washington24223
Coshocton23111
Fayette2236
Fulton2221
Highland2163
Jackson2162
Ashland2124
Crawford2086
Wyandot20012
Williams1883
Gallia17910
Meigs1679
Hocking1589
Guernsey1547
Carroll1487
Pike1410
Adams1174
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding960
Harrison601
Morgan460
Vinton453
Noble240
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 39°
Angola
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Huntington
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 39°
Van Wert
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Cool, Sunny Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events