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Could coffee help prevent obesity’s negative side effects?

Coffee consumption may help offset some of obesity’s negative side effects, according to a new study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Research.

Researchers at the University of Georgia conducted two sets of experiments to determine the preventive and therapeutic effects of chlorogenic acid, or CGA, a chemical compound found in coffee. In the first experiment, a group of mice was fed a high fat diet while receiving twice-daily injections of CGA. In the second experiment, a group of already obese mice was treated with CGA injections. The researchers found that CGA significantly reduced obesity-related insulin resistance and liver steatosis, or accumulation of fat in the liver, in both sets of mice. While the body weight of the obese mice that were treated with CGA did not change, the CGA injections prevented the onset of obesity in the mice that received them while consuming a high fat diet.

Before you run out the door to your local Starbucks, it is worth noting that the mice in both experiments received a much larger dose of CGA than a human could absorb by drinking copious amounts of coffee. Diet and exercise are still the most effective treatment for obesity and its accompanying health risks. However, the researchers do believe CGA could be used to supplement treatment for those at risk. “Our results suggest that drinking coffee is beneficial in maintaining metabolic homeostasis when on a high fat diet,” the study concluded.