Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is prevalent not only among the overweight and obese but also normal weight individuals, and the phenotype is referred to as a metabolically unhealthy phenotype (MUHP). Besides normal weight individuals, overweight/obese individuals are also protected from MetS, and the phenotype is known as a metabolically healthy phenotype (MHP). Epidemiological studies indicate that coffee and micronutrients such as plasma folate or vitamin B12 (vit. B12) are inversely associated with MetS. However, correlations among coffee consumption metabolic phenotypes, plasma folate, and vit. B12 remain unknown. Our objective was to investigate the correlation between coffee consumption, metabolic phenotypes, plasma folate, and vit. B12 as well as to understand associations between plasma folate, vit. B12, and metabolic phenotypes. Associations among coffee consumption metabolic phenotypes, plasma folate, and vit. B12 were assessed in a cross-sectional study of 2201 participants, 18 years or older, from 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). MUHP was classified as having > three metabolic abnormalities. Coffee consumption was not associated with metabolic phenotypes, but negatively correlated with several metabolic variables, including BMI (p
< 0.001). Plasma folate was positively associated with MUHP (p
< 0.004), while vit. B12 was inversely associated with MUHP (p
< 0.035). Our results suggest the potential protective impact of coffee on individual components of MetS and indicate a positive correlation between coffee consumption and MUHP among overweight individuals. Identifying possible dietary factors may provide practical and low-cost dietary intervention targets, specifically for early intervention. Larger and randomized intervention studies and prospective longitudinal studies are required to further evaluate these associations.
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