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Christmas weight gain could be prevented by drinking coffee, study reveals

Coffee addicts just got another reason to love their morning cup of Joe.

Many people struggle with their weight during the holidays, but a new study may have found a solution (that doesn’t involve depriving yourself of Christmas treats). It turns out, drinking coffee will do more than just help you wake up early to deal with screaming kids on Christmas morning.

Scientists at the University of Illinois say that consuming caffeine can limit weight gain and cholesterol production, even while eating a diet high in fat and sugar, SWNS reports.

The researchers fed a group of rats a diet that consisted of 40 to 45 percent of carbohydrates and only 15 percent protein for four weeks. The animals were also given a tea rich in phytochemicals, flavonoids and amino acids. The amount of caffeine per serving ranged from 65 to 130 milligrams.

The rats were also supplied with other sources of caffeine.

At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that the rats that consumed caffeine had a significantly lower amount of body fat. They determined that caffeine reduced fat absorption by 22 percent and reduce weight gain by 16 percent.

In humans, they believe that drinking four cups of coffee a day could help prevent weight gain.

Co-author of the study Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia told SWNS, "Considering the findings, mate tea and caffeine can be considered anti-obesity agents. The results of this research could be scaled to humans to understand the roles of mate tea and caffeine as potential strategies to prevent overweight and obesity, as well as the subsequent metabolic disorders associated with these conditions.”

He continued, "The consumption of caffeine from (tea) or from other sources alleviated the negative impact of a high-fat, high-sucrose diet on body composition due to the modulation of certain lipogenic enzymes in both adipose tissue and the liver.”

For story updates visit www.foxnews.com.