Daily Java Helps the Body Burn Fat

Mannooligosaccharide in coffee help weight loss diets be more effective

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Weight loss diets work for some people, while other struggle fruitlessly. Those who struggle might have a solution that is more common than they might think…inside the coffee pot.

A recent study found that some people attempting a calorie-restricted diet have more success when a specific coffee compound is included as part of their diet.

This compound, a carbohydrate called mannooligosaccharide or MOS, increases a person’s fat metabolism, with male participants showing more fat-loss than female participants did.

"Coffee is a great addition to a weight loss diet."

For this study, Marie-Pierre St. Onge, Ph.D., led a team of researchers out of the New York Obesity Nutrition Center at St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University.

The researchers gathered 51 weight-stable obese patients to participate in this study, including 18 men and 33 women. Each participant’s fat profile was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which allowed the researchers to track the changes in body fat levels throughout the trial.

Participants in this trial received nutritional counseling, where they were given a calorie-restrictive diet to follow. In addition to the diet, they were given a formulated coffee drink to accompany their meals. Half were given an instant coffee mix, while the other half had an MOS-fortified instant coffee mix. The participants were instructed to drink their beverage twice daily with meals.

Men in the MOS group showed a 6 percent reduction in total body volume and 11 percent reduction of total body fat. Men in the placebo group only showed a 2 percent reduction in total body volume and 1 percent less in fat levels.

The women in the MOS group showed less of a change, showing only a 4 percent reduction in total body volume and 4 percent reduction total body fat. These results were not that different than the women in the placebo group, who had a 1 percent decrease in volume and 3 percent decrease in fat.

St. Onge and her team speculated that the difference in the results for different genders comes from inherent metabolic differences between men and women. Men tend to burn fat faster, and women tend to store fat in their bodies more efficiently.

Mannooligosaccharide is a specific kind of indigestible carbohydrate called a prebiotic. Prebiotics are chemicals that are indigestible to humans, but not to the microorganisms that live in our GI tract.

Some by-products of the microorganisms eating the prebiotics are a form of fatty acid called short-chain fatty acids, which are thought to directly nourish cells in the intestinal walls.

MOS can be extracted from spent coffee ground and then isolated and purified. There are currently no commercially available MOS supplements on the market, but regular coffee does contain small amounts of this compound.

This study was completed in the winter of 2010 and is published in the February 2012 issue of Obesity. Kraft Foods provided both the funding and the coffee for this study. Two of the four researchers were Kraft Foods employees.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 7, 2012
Last Updated:
March 12, 2012