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Wellness Blog

Coffee for Weight Loss

Posted on July 5, 2017 at 1:20 AM

Over the last several days I have heard many news story teasers about using coffee to loose weight. This stems from research conducted on obese mice, more on that in a moment.


Caffeine has been used as the stimulant additive in many over-the-counter weight loss products. This is nothing new, as it has been available for decades. Various weight loss pills rely on high caffeine to bring about reduced appetite leading to weight loss. In some cases, the products were removed from the marketplace due to the negative health effects of too much caffeine. Sadly, many all-natural weight loss products also followed this pattern— using botanicals containing caffeine.


Present day… Recently released research has once again indicated a link between caffeine and weight loss. In the journal “Nature Communications” researchers showed obese mice fed caffeine and a high fat diet experienced reduced appetite, improved energy, and weight loss. The caffeine was able to reduce the effects of circulating adenosine and adenosine receptor (A1R) linked to obesity.


The headline coffee suggesting the next “quick-fix” for those overweight is misleading. Yes, the mice lost weight. However, the amount of caffeine ingested was extremely high…the equivalent for a human of nearly 30 cups of coffee daily!


The exact formula was 60 mg of caffeine for each kg of body weight. So, a 150-pound person would need to consume roughly 27 cups of coffee daily to achieve weight loss. (60mg x 68kg = 4,080mg caffeine divided by 150mg for cup of coffee)


Caffeine toxicity can cause tremendous health damage and in high enough amounts dealth. The amount suggested in the study is under toxic levels per pound of body weight. However, each person will have a differing tolerance level. Even without the risk of fatality, there are still GI tract, neurological, cardiovascular and other issues that can result with high caffeine intakes.


When it comes to weight loss the best approach is looking at your dietary choices first and your activity levels next. This is the best method to ensure weight loss that is retained while minimizing harm to the body.


Dianna Richardson, ND July 2017


Reference: Wu, L. et al. Caffeine inhibits hypothalamic A1R to excite oxytocin neuron and ameliorate dietary obesity in mice. Nature Communication. 8, 15904 doi: 10.1038/ncomms15904 (2017)

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