Coffee could help you lose weight and cut diabetes risk

Coffee has long been ­championed for its health ­benefits over the years, but here’s a surprising one. The devoted ­coffee drinker could lose weight and lower their risk of type 2 diabetes.

A new study from Imperial College London has looked at the effect of higher blood caffeine levels on body weight and long-term risks of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers also examined links with major cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, and irregular heart rhythm – atrial fibrillation.

The findings offer important insight into how caffeine exerts this protective effect on adiposity – having too much fatty tissue – says Dr Dipender Gill of Imperial College.

The results of the Imperial College researchers show higher blood caffeine levels are linked to lower body weight and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

So could calorie-free ­caffeinated drinks play a role in fighting obesity and curbing the type 2 diabetes epidemic?

To try to answer that, the researchers teamed up with colleagues from the University of Bristol, London School of Hygiene and Tropical ­Medicine and Uppsala University in Sweden.

Previous studies have shown drinking three to five cups of coffee a day means you are less likely to get type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with a cup of coffee containing around 70-150mg of caffeine. The latest research tracked 10,000 people of ­predominantly ­European ancestry, taking part in six ­long-term studies.

It also looked at genes and the role of two common variants – CYP1A2 and AHR – and how they broke down coffee in the body.

And they found that those who broke down caffeine more slowly, so were likely to have a higher level of it in their blood, had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The team also studied if caffeine’s link to lowering the risk of diabetes might ­principally be down to weight loss.

The results showed weight loss drove nearly half (43%) of the effect of caffeine on the diabetes risk.

While not included in the study report, it’s logical to assume increasing your caffeine levels safely could help you keep to a healthy weight.

And for people with high blood sugar levels (prediabetes), a couple more cups of coffee might just protect them from developing type 2 diabetes.