Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Coffee³ Advantage Equation: 3 x 250mL Coffee / Day + 2x4 Weeks ➫ -1kg Body Fat, Satiety ⇈ (Ghrelin ↘ + 5HT ↗) + Cancer Protective 16% Reduction in DNA Breaks = Health³

Here it is: Scientific evidence caffeine is the among the healthiest addictions known to man.
It has been a while since the last official "Coffee Lovin'"-article at the SuppVersity was published. Luckily, scientists all over the world appear to be similarly hooked to the brownish cult drink as millions of coffee concessionaires all around the world - including those who live in Vienna, the city, where the data I am about to present in today's SuppVersity article originated from.

If you take a look at the study design, you will see that we are dealing with a five-months study with three four-week washout periods, a crossover and two different types of coffee that was tested on two groups.
You can learn more about coffee at the SuppVersity

Remember: With Coffee More Won't Help More

Coffee - The Good, Bad & Interesting

Three Cups of Coffee Keep Insulin At Bay

Caffeine's Effect on Testosterone, Estrogen & SHBG

Coffee + Cacao for Breast Cancer Prevention

Caffeine resistance - does it exist?
This sounds more complicated that it actually is. If you take a closer look at the illustration in Figure 1 you will soon realize that there is absolutely no witchcraft involved, here. In fact, the only thing that's magic, were the effects the coffee consumption had on body fat, food intake, satiety and the integrity of the DNA of their 84 healthy, non-smoking, drug-free 20- to 44-year-old male and female (non-pregnant), volunteers with (BMI of 19-26 kg/m²).
Figure 1: Graphical overview of the study design (Bakuradze. 2014); adherence was controlled by urine essays.
During the first intervention phase, group A consumed coffee that was bought at a regular supermarket (MB), while the subjects in group B were supplied with coffee pads containing a standardized blend of 100% Arabica (Coffea arabica) roasts, composed largely of dark roast, particularly rich in roast products (including high NMP contents) together with some light roast, rich in green bean constituents. This is in contrast to the supermarket coffee which was blended from equal portions of five major commercially available regular coffee brands, thus representing a typical medium roast filter coffee blend. Four of the five coffees were pure Arabicas, the fifth contained some Robusta (Coffea canephora), which contains significant amounts of 16-O-methylcafestol (Speer & Kölling-Speer, 2006). Both ground coffee blends were portioned into standard coffee pods (Tchibo GmbH, Hamburg, Germany) and packed into appropriate plastic bags, under inert gas.

Regardless of the type of coffee and/or study period, subjects were instructed to prepare their three coffees à day with two of the 7.5 g coffee pods and to consume their freshly brewed coffee in 250ml portions spread relatively evenly across the day ... which yielded the already mentioned benefits (see Figure 1):
Figure 2: Rel. changes in body fat, fat free mass (incl. bone), serotonine and active grehlin levels (hunger) after 4 weeks on the different coffee brands; data from A + B group (Bakuradze. 2014)
Not too bad, given the fact that all you have to do to monetize on the fat killing, appetite controlling and DNA protective effects (reduction in spontaneous breaks by 13-16%) of coffee is to consume it regularly and in very moderate amounts, right?

Ah, and before I forget to tell you. In contrast to what the title of the paper, i.e. "Four weeks coffee consumption affects energy intake, satiety regulation, body fat, and protects DNA integrity" would suggest, there was no significant reduction in energy intake that could explain the fat loss, let alone body-recompositioning effects you can see in Figure 2 (left).
Caffeine Works - Study Leaves No Doubt About It! Approx. 400mg of Caffeine Get You Going, Even After 32h Without Sleep - So Why Doesn't It Work for You Anymore? | more
Bottom line: If you have been waiting for yet another excuse not to give up your coffee addiction, this would be a scientifically valid one. One with a single, on the other hand, attached. Even with the 4-week washout I am not sure, if there may not have been a minimal negative effects of caffeine abstinence in those of the subjects who were already (heavy) caffeine drinkers at the end of the "abstinence" (wash out) period.

In essence, this is yet possible, but very unlikely. An attenuation of brain serotonin has after all only been observed in the short term (Haleem. 1995). To assume that the benefits we are seeing in the study at hand are just the results of the compensation of a previous crash of serotonin and increase in grehlin and appetite that occurred in response to caffeine withdrawal does therefore appear to be another far-fetched caffeine hater hypothesis ;-)
  • Haleem, Darakhshan J., et al. "24h withdrawal following repeated administration of caffeine attenuates brain serotonin but not tryptophan in rat brain: Implications for caffeine-induced depression." Life sciences 57.19 (1995): PL285-PL292.