Two coffee compounds may prevent many obesity-related issues

Extracts sourced from coffee bean 'waste' show promise for preventing a variety of chronic conditions associated with obesity, including type-2 diabetes and ones involving inflammation. The findings were recently detailed in a study from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. In addition to potentially offering new prevention options for chronic illnesses, the use of these compounds may also reduce waste resulting from coffee production.

The study focused on two phenolic compounds called gallic acid and protocatechuic acid, both of which were extracted from the silverskin and husks removed and typically thrown away during coffee bean production. The compounds were tested on fat cells harvested from mice and were found to boost insulin sensitivity, improve the cells' ability to absorb glucose, and reduce the inflammation caused by fat.

That's potentially good news for humans, an increasing number of whom face chronic health issues that often develop as a consequence of obesity. When faced with reduced glucose absorption and lowered insulin sensitivity, someone will eventually develop type-2 diabetes without intervention or lifestyle modifications, for example.

As well, excess body fat is known to cause chronic inflammation, which can drive the development of cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune issues, and a variety of other problems. The study indicates that adding these coffee bean extracts to one's diet may have a preventative effect against the changes that lead to these illnesses.

Every year, more than a million tons of coffee bean husks are discarded in the field as an unusable waste byproduct of coffee production. As well, tens of thousands of tons of silverskin are produced annually. If these two compounds prove safe and effective in humans, the findings may also help reduce the waste that results from coffee production.