In a recent study, researchers at the University of Georgia have shown that a natural compound in coffee may help to counter some of the many health-damaging effects of obesity. Specifically, chlorogenic acid (CGA) significantly reduced insulin resistance and fat accumulation in the livers of mice fed a high-fat diet.
Previous studies have shown that coffee consumption may lower the risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The present study expanded on previous findings by looking at the benefits associated with CGA, which is found in abundance not only in coffee, but also in fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, tomatoes and blueberries.
Over the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. More than a third of US adults and approximately 17% of US children are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This epidemic comes at a high cost: it is estimated that the annual medical cost of obesity is more than $147 billion.
Aside from weight gain, two common side effects of obesity are greater insulin resistance and fatty liver. Left untreated, these can lead to diabetes and poor liver function.
In the present study, the study researchers fed a group of mice a high-fat diet for 15 weeks while also injecting them with a CGA solution twice every week. They found that CGA was not only effective in preventing weight gain, but also helped to maintain normal blood sugar levels and healthy liver composition.
CGA is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that obesity-related diseases are caused by chronic inflammation, which explains why CGA can offset some of the negative effects of excessive weight gain.
However, it is important to note that CGA is not the solution for poor lifestyle choices. A healthy diet and regular exercise are still the best ways to reduce the risks associated with obesity. Also, the mice in this study received a high dose of CGA, much higher than what a human would absorb through regular coffee consumption or a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
On the other hand, the study researchers believe that CGA can form the foundation of a future treatment for people with obesity and a poor prognosis. They plan to conduct more research to develop an improved CGA formulation specifically designed for human consumption.