Coffee lowers the GI response to food and improves carbohydrate metabolism

August 23rd, 2010
By Paul Cribb Ph.D. CSCS.
Filed Under: Research

The findings from a small study recently completed in the U.K. supports previous findings that show coffee improves insulin function and carbohydrate metabolism in a manner that would promote better fat loss and muscle gains.

Researchers from the University of Surrey report that caffeine and other compounds in coffee such as chlorogenic acid, alters the glycaemic response of food consumption in the small number of individuals tested.

In a three-way, randomized, crossover study, nine healthy volunteers consumed either 25 grams of glucose in solution (a control), or 25 grams of glucose in caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. Blood was tested frequently over the following three hours after consumption.

Results showed that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee significantly slowed secretion of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide compared with the control group; thus, lowering the glycemic index (GI) response to the carbohydrate. The differences in plasma glucose, insulin, and gastrointestinal hormone profiles further confirm the potent biological action of caffeine and chlorogenic acid.

The GI is a numerical system of measuring how fast a food or ingredient triggers a rise in circulating blood glucose; the higher the GI, the greater the blood sugar response. Coffee consumption along with carbohydrates appears to lower the GI and insulin response of the meal. In turn this effect would promote better fat metabolism in the hours after.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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