Tags: coffee | diabetes | prevention | decaf

Study: Coffee Combats Diabetes

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 05:02 PM

Good news for coffee lovers: New research shows drinking up to four cups a day may reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 25 percent. The kicker: Decaf may offer as much of a health boost as regular coffee.
The study, reported by Japanese researchers in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, is the latest in a series of recent research findings to highlight the potential health benefits of coffee. Once derided as a harmful stimulant, coffee — when consumed daily at moderate levels — has been linked to a lower risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers, as well as Type 2 diabetes.
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More than a dozen major studies have been published on coffee and diabetes alone. The most widely reported review — published by Harvard University researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association — examined nine studies (involving 193,473 people) on coffee and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers’ chief finding: “Habitual coffee consumption [more than six cups a day] is associated with a substantially lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Another study, by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research (involving 130,054 men and women) found people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily are less likely to be hospitalized for heart problems than non-drinkers. Other U.S. and European researchers have linked heavy regular coffee consumption to a significantly lower risk of developing prostate cancer, liver cancer, and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease).
Researchers haven’t conclusively pinpointed what is responsible for coffee’s health benefits. But caffeinated beverages are loaded with antioxidants — which help prevent tissue damage caused by molecules called oxygen-free radicals — and polyphenols, including chlorogenic acids, that may offer a protective effect. Coffee also contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium that help the body use insulin, which controls blood sugar.
Caffeine may be a factor, too. But since many coffee studies — including the latest Japanese research — have found decaf to be beneficial, health experts believe it is probably not the principal actor involved.
Scientific research hasn’t proven that coffee can prevent chronic conditions as effectively as a healthy diet and regular exercise. But dozens of studies comparing the health of coffee drinkers and abstainers have found potential benefits to at least moderate consumption.
The latest study, conducted by health specialists with the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Kyushu University in Japan, found drinking three to four cups of regular or decaffeinated coffee per day may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
"A dose-dependent inverse association between coffee drinking and total mortality has been demonstrated in general population and it persists among diabetics,” said Dr. Pilar Riobó Serván, associate chief of endocrinology and nutrition at the Jiménez Díaz-Capio Hospital of Madrid, in a commentary on the new findings. “Although more research on the effect of coffee in health is yet needed, current information suggests that coffee is not as bad as previously considered!"
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The study was released, in advance of its journal publication, during a meeting of the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes and Its Complications this week.
Coffee is a common daily staple of the American diet, with more than half of American adults —150 million — sipping at least three cups of coffee a day on average, according to the National Coffee Association.

© HealthDay

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Coffee has been found to combat Type 2 diabetes, a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Metabolism.
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 05:02 PM
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