|Yes, the study at hand is on caffeine, but the results are relevant for coffee, too.|
Against that background it may not be as surprising as it would have been 10 years ago that Joana C. Coelho, et al. (2016) found caffeine to be able to restores insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in high-sucrose diet rats. And yet, I personally believe that it is still worth pointing out the results of this study as the high sucrose diet the mice were fed is the same "high sugar diet" about which you will read all over the news that it is to blame for the obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Against that background, it is particularly interesting to take a closer look at the data from Coelho's study, because it is the first to actually provide a valid explanation for the observed improvements in glucose sensitivity in response to the ingestion of caffeine.
|Figure 1: 16-wk food intake, weight gain, fat gain and visceral fat gain according to caffeine intake (Coelho. 2016).|
|University of Memphis: Caffeine can help control the increase in blood lipids and oxidation after inhaling (10 minutes) a high calorie + high fat milk shake, controlled trial involving twelve healthy men shows (Crone. 2016).|
|Figure 2: Effects of different doses of caffeine on GLUT4 and insulin receptor expression in rats (Coelho. 2016).|
This conclusion cannot be questioned. What can be questioned, though, is the scientists assumption that this would occur only with high doses of caffeine and in response to increases in GLUT4 and insulin receptor expression in the visceral fat. Why's that? Well take a look at the figure in the bottom line: it shows that significant improvements in glycemia were improved at all dosages. The latter wouldn't have been possible if the lower dosages wouldn't have had an effect on glucose uptake, as well. Whether that's an effect in muscle cells (which would be great), needs further investigation. The previously discussed effects of caffeine on muscle glycogen storage (learn more), on the other hand, would suggest just that: an effect on skeletal muscle, and or a reduction in gluconeogenesis which could, among other things, be triggered by coffee's / caffeine's ability to inhibit the reactivation of glucocorticoids by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1" (Atanasov. 2006).
- Akash, Muhammad Sajid Hamid, Kanwal Rehman, and Shuqing Chen. "Effects of coffee on type 2 diabetes mellitus." Nutrition 30.7 (2014): 755-763.
- Atanasov, Atanas G., et al. "Coffee inhibits the reactivation of glucocorticoids by 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1: A glucocorticoid connection in the anti-diabetic action of coffee?." FEBS letters 580.17 (2006): 4081-4085.
- Coelho, Joana C., et al. "Caffeine Restores Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose tolerance in High-sucrose Diet Rats: Effects on Adipose Tissue."
- Crone, et al. "Impact of Meal Ingestion Rate and Caffeine Coingestion on Postprandial Lipemia and Oxidative Stress Following High-Fat Meal Consumption." Journal of Caffeine Research (2016): Ahead of print. DOI: 10.1089/jcr.2016.0004.
- Di Girolamo, Filippo Giorgio, et al. "Roasting intensity of naturally low-caffeine Laurina coffee modulates glucose metabolism and redox balance in humans." Nutrition (2016).
- Killer, Sophie C., Andrew K. Blannin, and Asker E. Jeukendrup. "No evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake: a counterbalanced cross-over study in a free-living population." PloS one 9.1 (2014): e84154.
- O'Keefe, James H., et al. "Effects of habitual coffee consumption on cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular health, and all-cause mortality." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 62.12 (2013): 1043-1051.