According to a Canadian study consuming caffeine can accelerate fat burning by acting as a ketogenic agent. The study found that ingesting 2.5 mg of caffeine per kilogram (1.14 mg per pound) of body weight increase ketone bodies by 88%. By ingesting twice the amount, or 5.0 mg/kg (2.27 mg/pound), can increase ketone bodies by 116%.
The Study’s Abstract
Brain glucose uptake declines during aging and is significantly impaired in Alzheimer’s disease. Ketones are the main alternative brain fuel to glucose so they represent a potential approach to compensate for the brain glucose reduction. Caffeine is of interest as a potential ketogenic agent owing to its actions on lipolysis/ lipid oxidation but whether it is ketogenic in humans is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the acute ketogenic effect of two doses of caffeine in healthy adults (2.5; 5.0 mg/kg) during a 4-hour metabolic study period. Caffeine given at breakfast significantly stimulated ketone production in a dose dependent manner (+88%; +116%) and also raised plasma free fatty acids. Whether caffeine has longterm ketogenic effects or could enhance the ketogenic effect of medium chain triglycerides remains to be determined.
Why is this important?
The brain is dependent on glucose and can not use free fatty acids (FFA) for fuel like other organs and muscles. Thus, in the absence of glucose, the brain can only use ketones for it’s fuel. Ketones are created in the liver by converting triglycerides to ketones and FFA. By inducing a ketogenic state in the body by fasting and other methods of lowing insulin, fat is burned. Most weight loss is created by the reduction of body fat. Thus for those wishing to lose weight, achieving a state of ketosis would be beneficial because the body is no longer using glucose and is using body fat.
When the brain’s needs are met with ketones there are added benefits of reduced food cravings (especially carbohydrates) and a boost in cognition.
This result could provide part of the solution to preventing Alzheimer’s disease since brain glucose uptake declines with age.
Caffeine and MCT Oil
The study indicated, “Another way of increasing blood ketones is to provide a source of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). Caffeine combined with an MCT supplement could potentially prolong mild ketonemia. Such products are already available on the market although no reports are available on the ketogenic effect of the combination of these products.”
By adding MCT oil to the cup of coffee would increase the effect as reported in this study and the added benefit of a higher state of ketosis; more ketones to feed the brain and added fat burning and weight loss.