Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Feb;38(2):140-7. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2012-0201. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Caffeine ingestion impairs insulin sensitivity in a dose-dependent manner in both men and women.

Author information

a Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.


The effects of alkaloid caffeine on insulin sensitivity have been investigated primarily in men, and with a single caffeine dose most commonly of 5-6 mg·kg(-1) of body weight (BW). It is unknown if the effects of caffeine on glucose homeostasis are sex-specific and (or) dose-dependent. This study examined whether caffeine ingestion would disrupt glucose homeostasis in a dose-dependent or threshold manner. It also examined whether sex-specific responses to caffeine exist. It was hypothesized that women would have an exaggerated response to caffeine, and that caffeine would only impair glucose metabolism once a threshold was reached. Twenty-four healthy volunteers (12 males, 12 females) participated in 4 trials, in a crossover, randomized, and double-blind fashion. They ingested caffeine (1, 3, or 5 mg·kg(-1) of BW) or placebo followed, 1 h later, by a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide area under the curve (AUC), and insulin sensitivity index data were fitted to a segmented linear model to determine dose-responses. There were no differences between sexes for any endpoints. Regression slopes were significantly different from zero (p < 0.05) for glucose, insulin, and C-peptide AUCs, with thresholds being no different from zero. Increasing caffeine consumption by 1 mg·kg(-1) of BW increased insulin and C-peptide AUCs by 5.8% and 8.7%, respectively. Despite this exaggerated insulin response, glucose AUC increased by 11.2 mmol per 120 min·L(-1) for each mg·kg(-1) BW consumed. These results showed that caffeine ingestion disrupted insulin sensitivity in a dose-dependent fashion beginning at very low doses (0-1 mg·kg(-1) BW) in both healthy men and women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center