Coffee, hunger, and peptide YY

J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Jun;31(3):160-6. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720023.


Objective: There is evidence from several empirical studies suggesting that coffee may help people control body weight. Our objective was to assess the effects of caffeine, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee, both alone and in combination with 75 g of glucose, on perceived hunger and satiety and related peptides.

Methods: We conducted a placebo-controlled single-blinded randomized 4-way crossover trial. Eleven healthy male volunteers (mean age, 23.5 ± 5.7 years; mean BMI, 23.6 ± 4.2 kg/m(2)) ingested 1 of 3 test beverages (caffeine in water, caffeinated coffee, or decaffeinated coffee) or placebo (water), and 60 minutes later they ingested the glucose. Eight times during each laboratory visit, hunger and satiety were assessed by visual analog scales, and blood samples were drawn to measure 3 endogenous peptides associated with hunger and satiety: ghrelin, peptide YY (PYY), and leptin.

Results: Compared to placebo, decaffeinated coffee yielded significantly lower hunger during the whole 180-minute study period and higher plasma PYY for the first 90 minutes (p < 0.05). Caffeine in water had no effects on hunger or PYY. Caffeinated coffee showed a pattern between that of decaffeinated coffee and caffeine in water. These findings suggest that one or more noncaffeine ingredients in coffee may have the potential to decrease body weight. Glucose ingestion did not change the effects of the beverages.

Conclusions: Our randomized human trial showed that decaffeinated coffee can acutely decrease hunger and increase the satiety hormone PYY.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Area Under Curve
  • Beverages
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Coffee* / chemistry
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Humans
  • Hunger / drug effects*
  • Hunger / physiology*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Peptide YY / blood*
  • Satiety Response / drug effects
  • Satiety Response / physiology
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Young Adult


  • Coffee
  • Ghrelin
  • Leptin
  • Peptide YY
  • Caffeine