Coffee Could Lower Diabetes Risk
Long-time coffee drinkers may be only half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people who don’t drink coffee, concludes new research at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that coffee’s anti-inflammatory properties could be the reason.
Researchers randomly analyzed a group of more than 1,300 men and women ages 18 and up in Athens in 2001 and 2002. The participants answered questionnaires regarding their dietary habits and how frequently they drink coffee.
A casual coffee habit was deemed to be fewer than 1.5 cups per day, and habitual coffee drinking was more than 1.5 cups per day. According to the surveys, the participant group included 816 casual drinkers, 385 habitual drinkers, and 239 non-coffee drinkers. In addition to the surveys participants underwent blood work to track inflammation and antioxidant levels.
A decade later, 191 participants had developed diabetes–13 percent of the men and 12 percent of the women. Habitual coffee drinkers were 54 percent less likely to develop diabetes, compared to non-coffee drinkers. This was true even after accounting for other variables, such as smoking, high blood pressure, and family history.
It was noted that higher coffee consumption correlated with higher levels of serum amyloid, one of the inflammatory markers tracked in the blood work. However, since this study merely observed participants and didn’t tell them whether to drink coffee or not, it’s not clear if drinking coffee really can prevent diabetes. The researchers acknowledged that more analysis is needed.