The relationship between caffeine and insulin resistance (IR) has been assessed only in terms of caffeine intake, and the association between caffeine and beta cell function (BCF) remains unclear. This study examines the association between urinary caffeine and its metabolites, IR, and BCF in nondiabetic, noninstitutionalized US adults in order to account for the inter-individual differences in caffeine metabolism. Data on urinary caffeine and its metabolites, IR and BCF from adults aged 20 years and older who participated in the 2009–2010 and 2011–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys were analyzed (n
for caffeine = 994). IR and BCF were assessed using homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) and urinary caffeine and its metabolites were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry. After adjusting for all covariates, increases in urinary 1,3-DMU, 1,7-DMU, 1,3,7-TMU, theophylline, paraxanthine, caffeine, and AAMU were significantly associated with increased HOMA-IR and HOMA-β (HOMA of insulin resistance and beta cell function). Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of urinary 1,3-DMU, 1,7-DMU, 1,3,7-TMU, theophylline, paraxanthine, caffeine, and AAMU, the regression coefficients for HOMA-IR and HOMA-β were significantly higher among those in the highest quartile. After stratification by prediabetes status, HOMA-IR and HOMA-β showed significant positive associations with urinary caffeine and its metabolites among subjects with normal fasting plasma glucose levels. Our cross-sectional study showed that caffeine and its metabolites were positively related to IR and BCF.
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