Caffeine may offset holiday weight gain, University of Illinois study says

URBANA, Ill. (WLS) -- Just in time for holidays, drinking four cups of coffee daily could reduce weight gain from a diet high in fat and sugar.

A new study by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found rats that consumed caffeine, gained 16 percent less weight and accumulated 22 percent less fat than those who didn't.

They tested rats using mate tea, synthetic caffeine, and caffeine extracted from coffee.

Mate tea is traditionally consumed in parts of South America like Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.

The herbal beverage is rich in phytochemicals, flavonoids and amino acids.

The study is published in the Journal of Functional Foods.
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