Science & Tech

New evidence finds that drinking coffee has a surprising benefit

Meghan Markle appears in coffee brand advert

Coffee is often the go-to beverage to perk us up during the day- but there also may be a new health benefit as recent research suggests it can reduce the risk of diabetes.

The study that was published in BMJ Medicine, looks at how higher blood caffeine levels effect body weight, type 2 diabetes and other major cardiovascular diseases, where nearly 10,000 people took part in six longer-term studies.

Dr Dipender Gill, a clinical scientist at Imperial College London, worked on the study alongside a team on researchers where the rate at which caffeine is metabolised in the body was also looked at.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

He believes this new research is able to show causal effect between caffeine and weight as the genetics behind it all was studied, telling PA news agency that "95 per cent of your caffeine is metabolised by an enzyme" and two genes called CYP1A2 and AHR affect the function and level of that enzyme.

These genetic variants showed that slower metabolisers have higher plasma (blood) caffeine levels and "those with higher plasma caffeine levels go on to have a lower body mass index and a lower risk of diabetes."

“It’s the plasma caffeine that’s doing that," he added.

Meanwhile if you're a fast metaboliser then you have a "slightly higher" risk of diabetes.

“If you’re a faster metaboliser, you have lower plasma caffeine levels and you are, on average at a population level, at slightly higher risk of diabetes and have a slightly higher body mass index."

More research needs to be carried out to further establish if drinking coffee can help people stay slim.

Until then, Dr Gill warned against people knocking back more teas and coffees as a means of lose weight as this can cause other negative side effects.

“Certainly people shouldn’t start drinking more coffee or tea to try and lose weight, and that’s also because coffee and tea and caffeine can have adverse effects as well," he said.

“So some people might find it difficult to sleep and some people can get palpitations, so I think, based on this study, people should not change their lifestyle or behaviour, but our findings should be used to direct further research including potential clinical studies."

As for the number of faster caffeine metabolisers within the population, that figure remains unknown.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)