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Coffee could help reduce body fat in women, study finds

Reaching for that extra cup of coffee could come with added health benefits

Photo (c) Drazen Zigic - Getty Images
While many consumers worry about their coffee intake, recent studies have found that the popular morning beverage could come with countless health benefits, including fighting obesity.

Now, researchers at Anglia Ruskin University have found that having two to three cups of coffee per day could help women keep off excess body fat. 

“Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight which could potentially be used as antiobesity compounds,” said researcher Dr. Lee Smith. “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.” 

Health benefits of caffeine 

To understand what health benefits consumers can reap from coffee, the researchers evaluated responses to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They looked specifically at how coffee consumption affected consumers’ trunk fat and overall body fat. 

Overall, greater coffee consumption was linked with a reduction in body fat, but more significant changes were seen in women than in men. 

The researchers learned that body fat was nearly three percent lower overall for women who drank two to three cups of coffee per day, but older women benefitted even more from the extra boost of caffeine. For those in the 45-69 year-old age group, having two to three coffees each day was linked with over four percent lower body fat, whereas for younger women, body fat was lowered by roughly 3.5 percent. 

The study also found that it didn’t matter whether the participants drank decaf or fully caffeinated coffee, as the results remained consistent. 

Because caffeine affects everyone differently, it’s important that consumers to know how much their bodies can handle before upping their coffee intake each day. However, for those that can manage adding an extra cup or two each day, coffee could help maintain a healthy weight. 

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