Roasted coffee beans are made from the fruits of the coffee plant, called coffee cherries. An extract can also be obtained from their pulp that has dose-dependent effects against obesity, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and high blood lipid levels.
In a recent study on mice, a South Korean research team examined the effects of extracts from the pulp of the coffee cherry and identified the potential active ingredients in the laboratory. The study results are published in the specialist magazine “Antioxidants”.
Coffee for diabetes?
Several previous studies have shown that coffee lowers the risk of diabetes and liver disease, but the focus was on consumption of the hot drink and the underlying mechanisms remained largely unclear.
However, extracts from the pulp of coffee (Coffea arabica L.) can also have positive effects, as the new research makes clear. In laboratory tests, the experts were able to demonstrate, among other things, strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the coffee cherry extract.
Liver and blood sugar benefits
Key components of coffee such as chlorogenic acids, trigonelline and diterpenes, including cafestol, have effects far beyond the effects of caffeine alone, the team reports. They can provide improved blood sugar regulation and liver benefits, among other benefits.
The researchers also tested the effect of the coffee cherry extract on mice. After 84 days of oral administration, they demonstrated beneficial and dose-dependent effects against obesity, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, nephropathy and hyperlipidemia.
According to the researchers, the effects are due, among other things, to improved hepatic glucose enzyme activity, antioxidant activity, gene expression related to fat metabolism and the modulation of fat digestion enzymes in the pancreas.
Promising natural medicine
In addition, taking coffee cherry extracts orally could also help against metabolic syndrome and the associated complications, the experts explain.
Overall, the extract forms a promising drug candidate against obesity and diabetes as well as associated complications, with a dose-dependent effect. Further studies are now needed to research its use in humans. (fp)