Moderate coffee consumption may reduce type 2 diabetes risk by 25%

by Barbara Hewitt on November 19, 2014

Regular, moderate consumption of coffee may decrease an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to a quarter, according to a new report.

Epidemiological evidence shows that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day is associated with an approximate 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to consuming none to less than two cups per day, the study from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) says.


Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Research has also suggested an inverse (i.e. favourable) association, with each additional cup of coffee reducing the relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes by seven to eight per cent.

The report say research indicates that caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for this effect. A recent meta-analysis suggested that consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Recent work also suggests that the type of coffee may also affect the strength of the inverse (i.e. favourable) association, with filtered coffee exhibiting a greater protective effect than boiled coffee, and decaffeinated coffee exhibiting a greater protective effect than caffeinated coffee.

‘The research outlined in this report suggests that regular moderate coffee consumption may actually decrease an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes,’ say the ISIC annual diabetes report which outlines the latest research on coffee and type 2 diabetes states.

‘This effect has been linked with higher adiponectin levels, a decrease in inflammatory markers and reduced subclinical inflammation. Furthermore, a dose-dependent, inverse association between both coffee drinking and total mortality has been demonstrated in the general population, as well as among diabetics,’ it explains.

‘Studies have also found that drinking coffee does not increase cancer risk in the diabetic population, nor does it cause cardiovascular disease, hypertension or stroke. Although more research is needed to make firm conclusions, the findings suggest that coffee in moderation can be safely enjoyed by the healthy as well as by the diabetic population and might even be helpful in type 2 diabetes prevention,’ it concludes.

The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) was established in 1990 and is devoted to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health. Its members are major European coffee companies including Lavazza and Nestlé.

However not everyone shares the views in the report. ‘The studies highlighted in this report found people who drank more coffee tended to have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but this does not mean drinking more coffee actively reduces your diabetes risk,’ said Dr. Richard Elliot from the charity Diabetes UK.

‘Other factors not identified by these studies are also likely to be involved, and further research will be needed find out what causes this link. What we do know is the best way to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight. We recommend a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat, salt and sugar,’ he added.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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