Caffeine can be useful as an element of compensation for a diet with too much fat or sugar. This conclusion was reached by a study produced by researchers at the University of Illinois who claim to have discovered that this substance, naturally present in coffee or tea, helps to limit weight gain and cholesterol production, even in diets that are not exactly healthy.
The researchers carried out experiments on rats by making them consume caffeine derived from tea, showing that animals gained 16% less weight and accumulated 22% less body fat compared to those rats that instead consumed decaffeinated tea despite having a similar diet. The same effects were had with caffeine extracted from coffee and synthetic caffeine.
For the experiments, the researchers used Mate tea, a drink rich in phytochemicals, flavonoids and amino acids very common in Latin America. The proportion of caffeine in this type of tea can vary from 65 to 130 mg. The rats that participated in the study, besides taking this caffeine or decaffeinated tea, had to carry on a diet that contained 40% fat, 45% carbohydrates and 15% protein.
The experiment lasted four weeks and in the end the percentage of lean body mass of the rats that ingested caffeine derived from tea, coffee or synthetic sources was higher than the rats that had not taken caffeine. At this point tea and caffeine itself can be considered anti-obesity agents, as explained by Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, one of the authors of the study who adds the results of this research confirm that tea and caffeine in general can be used for new strategies to prevent overweight obesity as well as all the associated metabolic disorders.