Overweight people who gain weight or simply can’t lose weight are caught in a vicious cycle. The fatter they are, the more insulin resistance they have. As their insulin resistance increases, their bodies adjust by producing more insulin. But high insulin levels keep them from using fat for energy (which is what they need), and they just get fatter. One sure-fire way to decrease their insulin levels is to exercise and cut out carbohydrates, but there is another way. An article in Dr. Shallenberger’s Second Opinion, 1/15, cites a study of 2,112 healthy women from the Nurses’ Healthy Study. Researchers were studying a marker in the blood called C-peptide. C-peptide is formed in the body in direct proportion to how much insulin the body makes, so the higher the C-peptide, the more insulin the body is making. Some of the women were obese, some were thin, others in between. Then they looked at how much coffee/caffeine each woman was drinking, and BINGO!

In all of the women, the more caffeine they took, the lower their C-peptide levels were. The average of those who drank four or more cups per day, C-peptide levels were 16% less, which is very significant. Scientists then looked at the overweight women, and their results were even better-20%, and for the obese women even better- 27%! They did not find the same effect from caffeinated tea although they did see an effect from decaf coffee. It’s obvious that there is something other than the caffeine in coffee that decreases C-peptide levels. Bottom line: If you have difficulty with weight control, try these approaches. 1) Exercise vigorously for 15-20 minutes; 2) cut out the fruit, starches, and sweets from your diet; and 3) drink three to four cups of coffee per day. Dr. Rowen speculates that although this study was done on women, the results should be the same for men. Give it a try and give me some feedback.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.