In a breakthrough study that gives caffeine an unexpected edge, researchers from the University of Nottingham are claiming that coffee could be a secret weapon in the fight against obesity and diabetes. According to the team, drinking one cup of coffee a day can activate 'brown fat' and help the body defend itself against weight gain and blood sugar imbalances.
The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports and explore how different components affect brown fat functions in the human body. Also known as brown adipose tissue (BAT), brown fat is one of two fats present in humans, as well as hibernating mammals. Its key function is to burn calories and convert them into body heat. This has won it a reputation as a 'good' fat, unlike white fat which actively captures and stores excess calories.
"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," explains Professor Michael Symonds, co-director of the study.