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March 21, 2005

Caffeine Boosts Insulin Resistance Regardless of Exercise, Weight Loss

Topics: Health Issues

The real importance of this article isn't the report of the effects of caffeine on insulin sensitivity, although one should take it into account, rather, that one shouldn't summarily accept reports such as this without getting "the whole story." Should you avoid coffee if you are obese or have Type II diabetes?

- Reuters

Caffeine intake has a negative effect on insulin sensitivity in men with and without type 2 diabetes, and this effect persists even with regular exercise and loss of adiposity, Canadian researchers report.

"Through mechanisms that have yet to be firmly established, caffeine attenuates any of the beneficial effects of exercise or weight loss on insulin resistance," Dr. Robert Ross of Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, told Reuters Health. While the clinical implications remain unclear, Dr. Ross added, the findings are a "red flag" for clinicians and are particularly important for obese patients and those with diabetes, who already are at greater metabolic risk.  Read more ...

This report seems to flat-out contradict a recent report that coffee intake is associated with a reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. But does it? Not really. Even the article recognizes that  coffee contains numerous substances that may affect glucose metabolism, including but not limited to antioxidants, magnesium, and potassium. The researcher correctly notes that "When you give somebody caffeine without all of the other substances that are in coffee you have a very different situation."  Then should you start drinking more coffee to increase your insulin sensitivity? Nope! In the article about caffeine, participants were given 5 mg/kg of caffeine or placebo in a double-blind, randomized study. The "recent report" is  a observational "cohort study." not a controlled study, so the net result is - you still don't know.

Point? Don't jump to conclusions everytime you read something about nutrition or the results of a new study. Think about it and get more information.

So much for today's science lesson.

Posted by Hyscience at March 21, 2005 6:57 PM

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