- October 3, 2019
Project of the Month: Relationship between caffeine and brown fat metabolism
The first study in humans to show that something like a cup of coffee can have a direct effect on our brown fat functions has been carried out with the partial help of the EU. CASCADE Fellow Dr Ksenija Velickovic was a member of the team whose findings could have major implications in the light of the increasing levels of obesity. Brown fat metabolism could, potentially, be key to finding a solution to the growing diabetes epidemic.
Researchers combined both in vitro and in vivo models to examine whether caffeine could stimulate brown fat cells. For this purpose, they used mouse and human stem cells, which can generate both white and brown fat cells. They found that caffeine-treated cells increased their rate of metabolism and acquired characteristics of brown fat cells. The researchers then moved on to a human study by recruiting volunteers who drank either coffee or water, and measured changes in temperature of brown fat. Thus, with different models they have provided new evidence that caffeine and a coffee beverage can promote brown fat function.
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