Drinking four cups of coffee per day could reduce weight gain from an unhealthy diet by stifling genes which make the body build fat, rat study finds
- Researchers in Illinois, US, tested the effects of caffeine consumption on rats
- They found the equivalent of four coffee cups reduced fat storage processes
- Caffeine could be considered an ‘anti-obesity agent’, they concluded
- Rats which consumed the stimulant built 22 per cent less body fat in four weeks
Drinking four cups of coffee per day could reduce how much fat you gain after eating unhealthy food, according to a study on rats.
The experiment discovered that caffeine stopped the body from producing as much fat in the blood and meant fat cells stored less inside them than normal.
The rats consumed the equivalent caffeine of four cups of coffee and ate a carbohydrate-heavy diet high in fat and sugar for four weeks.
They gained 16 per cent less weight than rats in a non-caffeine group and built up 22 per cent less body fat.
Scientists said this could be because the effects of caffeine reduce action in a gene which is known to contribute to weight gain.
Researchers gave rats amounts of caffeine which would be equal to that found in four cups of brewed coffee for a human, and found their weight gain was reduced by 16 per cent and their fat build-up by 22 per cent (stock image)
The researchers, from the University of Illinois, set out to see if a type of herbal tea called mate tea had health benefits, and found caffeine from coffee had the same effect.
‘Considering the findings, mate tea and caffeine can be considered anti-obesity agents,’ said Dr Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, an author of the study.
‘The results of this research could be scaled to humans to understand the roles of mate tea and caffeine as potential strategies to prevent overweight and obesity, as well as the subsequent metabolic disorders associated with these conditions.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF COFFEE?
Scientific studies into the health effects of coffee are being done all the time and have, in the past, claimed the drink brings fairly big health benefits.
Reduces early death risk
Research by the National Cancer Institute in the US last year found people who drink six or seven cups of coffee each day were 16 per cent less likely to die from disease within a 10-year period than those who didn’t.
Less likely to get depression
Another study, done by the Harvard School of Public Health, found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 20 per cent less likely to suffer from depression.
Women have higher pain threshold
British scientists at Goldsmiths, University of London, found women who drank coffee – 250mg of caffeine, to be precise – tended to have a higher pain threshold than those who didn’t.
Lower type 2 diabetes
The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee last year said it had trawled through nearly 30 studies of almost 1.2million people to find drinking three or four cups of coffee each day could slash the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27 per cent.
‘The consumption of caffeine from mate or from other sources alleviated the negative impact of a high-fat, high-[sugar] diet on body composition due to the modulation of certain enzymes in both [fat] tissue and the liver.’
Researchers gave the rats mate tea, which is a herbal hot drink popular in Latin America and packed with phytochemicals, flavonoids, and amino acids.
It contains about 65 to 130mg of caffeine per serving, compared to between 30 and 300mg (average 95mg) in a cup of brewed coffee, the researchers said.
The animals were also given synthetic caffeine and caffeine extracted from coffee to compare the effects.
They found that, regardless of its source, caffeine decreased the accumulation of lipids (fat molecules) in fat cells by between 20 and 41 per cent.
At the end of the experiment, the team said the amount of body fat on the rats which consumed caffeine and those which didn’t was ‘significantly’ different.
The study, published in The Journal of Function Foods, said the beverages could be considered ‘anti-obesity agents.’
The team explained this effect was probably caused by the effects caffeine had on two genes in particular – Fasn and Lpl.
Fasn – the fatty acid synthase gene – was about 31-39 per cent less active in the rats which were being fed caffeine, meaning the body was converting less sugar into fat.
And Lpl – the lipoprotein lipase gene – was around 51-69 per cent less active, which also reduced the amount of fat which was created.
The suppression of these genes also meant less cholesterol was produced in the liver, the study added.
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in BC – Boundary Creek Times – Boundary Creek Times
B.C. announced 542 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths as of Wednesday (March 3), said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
It breaks down to 131 new cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health authority region, 292 in Fraser Health, 31 in Island Health, 43 in Interior Health and 44 in Northern Health.
There are now a total of 4,654 active cases in the province, this includes three more people are being treated in hospital for the virus, for a total of 246. Of them, 64 are in intensive care.
In a joint statement, Henry and health minister Adrian Dix reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern for a total of 200 in the province:
“Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, through the available COVID-19 vaccines. With a single primer dose, these vaccines are helping to stop outbreaks and reduce serious illness and death.”
So far, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., of which 86,616 were second doses.
A total of 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There have been a total of 81,909 cases, of which 75,819 have recovered.
There were no new reported health care facility outbreaks as a result of the virus.
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COVID-19 outbreak at Edmonton seniors’ residence involving variant grows to 36 cases – The Globe and Mail
A COVID-19 outbreak at a seniors’ residence in Edmonton that involves a more contagious variant of the virus has grown to 36 infections as the province speeds up its vaccine program for older Albertans.
The outbreak at Churchill Manor, a private seniors’ residence in the southeastern part of the city, began last Friday when the first case was detected. Atria Retirement Canada, which operates the facility, said 32 residents and four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday. Alberta Health said 19 have also tested positive for a more contagious variant.
Residents at Churchill Manor received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines on Monday, after the outbreak had begun and residents were exposed. Privately operated supportive living facilities such as Churchill Manor were included in the second phase of the province’s vaccine rollout, receiving their shots in the same period as people in the broader community who are 75 and older.
Premier Jason Kenney used the outbreak to criticize the federal government for the delayed rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting people at Churchill Manor would have been vaccinated earlier if only Ottawa had a better handle on the situation.
Atria said it had been slowly easing restrictions on residents beginning on Feb. 12, including offering meals in the dining room with physical distancing. People at the facility were still required to wear masks and undergo regular screening.
As soon as the first case of COVID-19 was detected, the company said, Churchill Manor asked residents to stay in their rooms and prohibited group gatherings.
“We are confident we are doing everything we can to protect our residents and staff,” a statement from the company said. “Alberta Health Services has reviewed our safety measures and has said they are satisfied with our protocols.”
Alberta Health Services staff are on-site this week conducting additional tests.
Atria said four of the residents who were infected are recovering off-site. Neither the company nor Alberta Health would say if any of them are in hospital.
The province announced in January that it had given first vaccine doses to all long-term care residents and staff, which included people in nursing care and publicly funded supportive living. That did not include private facilities, which were instead included in the second phase that began in late February. Private group-living facilities such as seniors’ lodges with residents older than 75 started on Feb. 19, a few days before vaccinations rolled out to everyone in the province in that age group regardless of where they live.
Staff in the fully private facilities will be able to get vaccinated in the next phase, which begins on March 15.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said people in long-term care sites or publicly funded supportive living facilities have a greater risk because of their age and underlying health conditions. She said the province had to make decisions based on risk to manage a limited supply of vaccines.
“When we looked at our rollout of vaccination to different groups, we prioritized the greatest impact with respect to severe illness and death,” she told a media briefing on Thursday.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro said there has been confusion because of the complex nature of the continuing care system, which involves a mix of public and private facilities and funding, with varying levels of care.
Earlier in the day, Premier Kenney pointed to the Churchill Manor outbreak during a news conference with other premiers as he repeated his criticism of delays with the federal vaccine program.
“They should have been vaccinated weeks ago, like they were in similar settings in the United States, Israel, the U.K. and many, many, many other countries,” he said.
A day earlier, Alberta joined other provinces in extending the time between first and second doses of the vaccines to four months, which is now recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Mr. Shandro announced Thursday that every adult in the province will be able to get their first shot by the end of June, with the next phase of vaccinations for people 65 and older and Indigenous peoples aged 50 and up starting on March 15.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will be available later this month to people who are 50 to 64. They will have a choice to either get the AstraZeneca vaccine or wait until their turn in the overall priority list for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
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B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next – Boundary Creek Times
B.C. public health officials are expecting their first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 next week, and are preparing to administer it to first responders and other essential workers.
Details of when people in the large group of essential workers will receive their first dose are expected by the third week of March, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. The new vaccination program is to run in parallel with the age-based vaccination of seniors using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, starting with those aged 90 and up next week.
Henry reported the latest coronavirus case numbers, with 564 new cases and four additional deaths associated with COVID-19 in the 24 hours up to March 4. There were no new outbreaks in communities or the health care system, with seven outbreak protocols currently in effect at long-term care and assisted living facilities. There have been cases found in three independent living senior homes, but a low number of positive tests has been found, Henry said.
Overall vaccination in B.C. is nearing 300,000, and public health officials expect the rate to accelerate with Pfizer and Moderna vaccine deliveries resuming and the permissible interval between the first shot and the booster shot extended to four months.
Henry apologized to people in long-term care whose second-dose appointments were cancelled, as public health officials updated their vaccination plan last weekend based on new research on the effectiveness of first doses over time.
“I regret that our communications weren’t able to keep up as fast as the decision-making,” Henry said, reminding people that any dose they didn’t get has gone to someone else in the community to increase protection for everyone.
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