Coffee may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found the more coffee people drink, the lower your risk is to type 2 diabetes.
Researchers followed 41,934 men for 12 years and 84,276 women for 18 years. The beginning of the study, the study participants did not have type 2 diabetes. They answered questions every two to four years about their coffee-drinking habits like regular or decaffeinated, 1,333 new cases of type 2 diabetes were reported among the men and 4,085 among the women.
Men who reported drinking more than six cups of regular coffee a day reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half when compared to non-drinkers of coffee. Women who reported drinking more than six cups of regular coffee cut their risk by nearly 30 percent. Decaffeinated coffee showed results, but were weaker.
What’s in coffee that can help protect against type 2 diabetes? The Harvard study said both regular and decaffeinated coffee contains antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and magnesium. According to the study, these ingredients can improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin and may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
So what if you aren’t a coffee drinker? Should you start drinking coffee to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes? Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE, president of health care and education at the American Diabetes Association answers, “I don’t think we have enough data to suggest that people who are not currently coffee drinkers should necessarily start. More study is needed to determine why and how the study results occurred and to determine recommendations going forward.”
Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE doesn’t suggest that people up their coffee intake either. She says, “A potentially therapeutic dosage of six or more cups per day. One 6-ounce cup of regular coffee contains 103 milligrams of caffeine, a substance that has been shown to increase blood pressure in some individuals.”
The scientists from the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra in Portugal, whose work was published in the journal PLoS, showed that the long-term consumption of caffeine reduced weight gain and high blood sugar levels, as well as preventing memory loss, probably due to its interfering with the neurodegeneration caused by toxic sugar levels.
She also added, “Adding calorie-laden sweeteners or fat-containing or carbohydrate-containing creamers to your coffee could be defeating the potentially beneficial effects of drinking the coffee itself.”
All in all, “Enjoy coffee. If you are not already a coffee drinker, this doesn’t mean that you need to start, but if you do enjoy a good cup of java, continue. It may be confirmed as a preventative treatment in the future — who knows?” Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE says.