Researchers have revealed that drinking coffee, especially the decaffeinated kind, seems to offer protection against type 2 diabetes.
The link between coffee and diabetes risk appears to be consistent across different ages and body weights; in addition, most research has found that the more coffee an individual generally drinks, the lower his or her risk for diabetes.
The findings were based on the study of 28,812 postmenopausal women Iowa over an 11-year period.
When the study of the Iowa women began, more than 14,000 of them, about half drank one to three cups of coffee per day, 2,875 drank more than six cups, 5,554 four to five cups, 3,231 less than one cup and 2,928 none.
During the study period, 1,418 of the women reported on surveys that they had been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Women who drank more than six cups of any type of coffee per day were 22 percent less likely than those who drank no coffee to be diagnosed with diabetes, the study found. Those who drank more than six cups of decaffeinated coffee daily had a 33 percent risk reduction compared with those who drank no coffee at all.
Overall caffeine intake did not appear to be related to diabetes risk, further suggesting that some other ingredient in coffee was responsible.
The authors wrote, “magnesium, for which coffee is a good source, could explain some of the inverse association between coffee intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus through known beneficial effects on carbohydrate metabolism.”
However, the study found no association between this mineral and diabetes risk. Other minerals and nutrients found in the coffee bean–including compounds known as polyphenols that have also been shown to help the body process carbohydrates and antioxidants that may protect cells in the insulin-producing pancreas–may contribute to its beneficial effects and should be examined in future studies.
“Although the first line of prevention for diabetes is exercise and diet, in light of the popularity of coffee consumption and high rates of type 2 diabetes mellitus in older adults, these findings may carry high public-health significance,” the study concluded.