Science and Health

Caffeine in Your Blood Could Affect Body Fat And Diabetes Risk, Study Finds

HEALTH
19 March 2023
By DAVID NIELD

(Clay Banks/Unsplash)
The levels of caffeine in your blood could affect the amount of body fat you carry, a factor that in turn could determine your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Those are the findings of a new study that used genetic markers to establish a more definitive link between caffeine levels, BMI, and type 2 diabetes risk.

The research team, from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the University of Bristol in the UK, and Imperial College London in the UK, says calorie-free caffeinated drinks could be explored as a potential means of helping reduce body fat levels.

“Genetically predicted higher plasma caffeine concentrations were associated with lower BMI and whole body fat mass,” write the researchers in their published paper.

“Furthermore, genetically predicted higher plasma caffeine concentrations were associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Approximately half of the effect of caffeine on type 2 diabetes liability was estimated to be mediated through BMI reduction.”

The study involved data from just under 10,000 people collected from existing genetic databases, focusing on variations in or near specific genes known to be associated with the speed at which caffeine is broken down. In general, those with variations affecting the genes – namely CYP1A2 and a gene that regulates it, called AHR – tend to break caffeine down more slowly, allowing it to remain in the blood longer. Yet they also tend to drink less caffeine in general.

An approach called Mendelian randomization was used to determine likely causal relationships between the presence of the variations, illnesses like diabetes, body mass, and lifestyle factors.

While there was a significant link between caffeine levels, BMI, and type 2 diabetes risk, no relationship emerged between the amount of caffeine in the blood and cardiovascular diseases including atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and stroke.

Previous studies have linked a moderate and relative increase in caffeine consumption to better heart health and a lower BMI, and the new research adds more detail to what we already know about the effects that coffee has on the body.

It’s important to also keep in mind the effects of caffeine on the body aren’t all positive, which means care must be taken when weighing up the benefits of drinking it – but this latest study is an important step in assessing how much caffeine is ideal.

“Small, short term trials have shown that caffeine intake results in weight and fat mass reduction, but the long term effects of caffeine intake is unknown,” write the researchers.

The team thinks the association shown here could be down to the way caffeine increases thermogenesis (heat production) and fat oxidation (turning fat into energy) in the body, which both play an important role in overall metabolism.

However, more research will be needed to confirm cause and effect. While this study involved a large sample, Mendelian randomization isn’t infallible, and it’s still possible that other factors are at play that weren’t accounted for in this study.

“Considering the extensive intake of caffeine worldwide, even its small metabolic effects could have important health implications,” write the researchers.

The research has been published in BMJ Medicine.

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WordPress News

WordPress 6.2 Release Candidate 3
It’s the final countdown: the third (and last) scheduled release candidate (RC3) for WordPress 6.2 is ready!
The WordPress 6.2 release is scheduled for March 28, 2023—just one week away! Now is your last opportunity to test it before the general release. 
Just tuning in now? Catch up on the featured highlights, and dig into more 6.2 details in the WordPress 6.2 RC1 release announcement.
Thanks to all the Beta and RC testers who have assisted in this release. Since RC2 was released on March 14, there have been about 21 issues resolved in Trac and GitHub.
Your feedback and help in filing bug reports keep the WordPress experience stable, smooth, and delightful. It’s critical work and a great way to contribute to the project. 
How to install RC3 for testing
This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it is recommended that you test RC3 on a test server and site. 
You can test WordPress 6.2 RC3 in three ways:
Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
Option 2: Direct download the RC3 version (zip).
Option 3: Use the following WP-CLI command:
wp core update –version=6.2-RC3
A shout out to plugin and theme developers
Your products are the reason WordPress does so many things for more people across the world. As you test your latest versions against RC3, make sure you update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.2. If you find compatibility problems, please post detailed information to the support forums.
Check out the WordPress 6.2 Field Guide for more details about the major changes in this release.
Help translate WordPress
Do you speak a language other than English? Help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages. 
Keep WordPress bug-free—help with testing
Without your testing support, hitting important product milestones would be a much bigger challenge. It’s also a meaningful way to contribute to the project. If you’re new to testing, or it’s been a while, this detailed guide can help you get started. 
If you think you have run into an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.
Release the haiku
Wow, we’re oh so close
Test, test. Get it out the door.
Please no RC 4.
Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @laurlittle @marybaum @audrasjb @cbringmann @webcommsat

My Utmost for His Highest

My Utmost for His Highest Modern Classic Edition

Since it first appeared in England in 1927, Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest has become one of the best-selling daily devotionals of all time.

New and longtime believers will strengthen their faith with this 90-Day Modern Classic Edition. This new and approachable revision of Chambers’ masterwork retains the timeless wisdom and spiritual impact of the original.

With a beautiful hardcover design and satin ribbon marker, it makes a great gift for any occasion.
ORDER TODAY

“Flee and Follow”: Devotional

Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Flee and Follow

LISTEN  
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

—2 Timothy 2:22 

If you will commit yourself to grow in your love for Jesus Christ and be enamored with Him and dedicated to Him, then you will see this world for what it is.

As the hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

The Bible warns us, “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT).

In other words, flee and follow. Run from anything that stimulates lust and follow anything that makes you want to do right.

Psalm 1 tells us, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night” (verses 1–2 NLT).

The best way to avoid losing ground is to gain ground. The best way to keep from going backward is to go forward.

The problem is that a lot of believers are not following after righteousness. They are not pursuing God. Instead, they are coasting along in spiritual cruise control. Meanwhile, there are mountains to climb. There is rugged terrain to navigate. There are opportunities for growth.

Yet many Christians are kicking back, and they will end up becoming spiritually lazy instead of moving forward. And sadly, it’s only a matter of time until they fall.

I have often said that the Christian life is like a greased pole. You are either climbing or slipping. How about you? Are you climbing? Are you growing and maturing? Or are you sliding backward?

 
 
Share this today:

 

 

Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn

Get Your Copy »

Kids are full of questions—and when it comes to explaining Heaven, the answers aren’t easy to put in their terms. Until now. Based upon the best-selling book for adults, Heaven, the adapted Heaven for Kids arms parents with ready answers for questions kids are sure to raise. Covering a variety of topics, you’ll even find responses to questions you haven’t thought of!

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

Harvest Ministries exists with your support to Know God and Make Him Known. If you would like, you can update your preferences. This email may be considered an advertising or promotional email.
Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie
P.O. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514-4000 Phone: 1-800-821-3300

Our Daily Bread: Spiritual Renewal

March 21 | Bible in a Year: Joshua 7–9; Luke 1:21–38
Spiritual Renewal

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

READ 2 Corinthians 4:16–18

LISTEN ONLINE
Chinese medicine has practiced pearl powder exfoliation for thousands of years, using ground pearls to scrub away dead cells resting at the top of the skin. In Romania, rejuvenating therapeutic mud has become a widely sought-after exfoliant that’s purported to make skin youthful and glowing. All over the world, people use body care practices they believe will renew even the dullest of skin.

The tools we’ve developed to maintain our physical bodies, however, can only bring us temporary satisfaction. What matters more is that we remain spiritually healthy and strong. As believers in Jesus, we’re given the gift of spiritual renewal through Him. The apostle Paul wrote, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). The challenges we face daily can weigh us down when we hold on to things like fear, hurt, and anxiety. Spiritual renewal comes when we “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” (v. 18). We do this by turning our daily worries over to God and praying for the fruit of the Holy Spirit—including love, joy, and peace—to emerge anew in our lives (Galatians 5:22–23). When we release our troubles to God and allow His Spirit to radiate through us each day, He restores our souls.

By Kimya Loder
REFLECT & PRAY
How can you ask God to renew your spirit? How does the work of the Holy Spirit encourage you today?

Jesus, each day I face obstacles that try to break my spirit. Sometimes I feel defeated, but I know that through You my spirit can be renewed.

For further study, read A Story of a Life Led by the Spirit.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

In 2 Corinthians 4:16–18, Paul describes finding hope—despite earthly suffering—because of an inward renewal (v. 16) and the assurance that through our struggles God draws us toward an “eternal glory that far outweighs” (v. 17) all suffering. The ideas in this passage are closely echoed and developed in Romans 8. There Paul writes that believers, as coheirs with Christ, “share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (v. 17) and concludes that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (v. 18)—a future when all of creation will be “liberated from its bondage to decay” (v. 21). And like the reminder of 2 Corinthians 4:18 which affirms that the believer’s hope is grounded in unseen, eternal realities, Romans 8 reminds us that “hope that is seen is no hope at all” (v. 24).

Learn more about why God allows suffering.

Monica La Rose

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