Research suggests coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome

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New report discusses association between moderate coffee consumption and a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), a co-occurrence of several cardiovascular risk factors including insulin resistance, hypertension and obesity.

A report from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of developing MetS, a condition which is estimated to affect more than one billion people across the globe1. Having MetS increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, including coronary heart disease and stroke1.

The report, titled ‘Coffee and Metabolic Syndrome: A review of the latest research’, summarises the research discussed at a satellite symposium hosted by ISIC at the 13th European Nutrition Conference organised by the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) in Dublin, Ireland.

During the symposium, Assistant Professor Giuseppe Grosso reviewed his own scientific research on the association between coffee consumption and MetS in Polish and Italian cohorts and explored the potential mechanistic perspectives behind the inverse association. His research suggests that polyphenols contained in coffee may be involved in the inverse association, specifically phenolic acids and flavonoids2,3. He also reviewed research that suggests that moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduction of CVD, cancer, all-cause mortality and type 2 diabetes4,5,8,9,10.

Associate Professor Estefania Toledo reviewed meta-analyses considering associations between coffee consumption and MetS and discussed work in a Mediterranean cohort. Her research into the SUN (Seguimiento University of Navarra) cohort involved 22,000 people and specifically considered caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee6. The study concluded that moderate coffee consumption (1-4 cups per day) was associated with reduced risk of MetS, whilst higher intakes were not. This was reported for both regular and decaffeinated coffee6.

Key research findings highlighted in the roundtable report include:

  • Meta-analyses have suggested that drinking 1-4 cups of coffee per day is associated with a reduced risk of MetS in observational studies2,3.
  • Research suggests that specific conditions of MetS, namely type 2 diabetes and hypertension, are also inversely associated with coffee consumption5,6,8,9,10. Associations with obesity are less clear11.
  • The inverse association between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome was shown in both men and women5,7,10.
  • Meta-analyses have suggested that a moderate consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may be associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome6.
  • Further research is required to better understand the mechanisms involved in the association. To date, in research the importance of polyphenols and hydroxycinnamic acids has been of note2,3.

To read the report titled, ‘Coffee and Metabolic Syndrome: A review of the latest research’, click here.

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