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Six Plus Cups of Coffee Helps Keep Diabetes Away

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2006

Women who drank more than six cups a day of any type of coffee were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Drinking lots of coffee cut women's risk of developing diabetes in an 11-year study, researchers report. But it was the antioxidants, not caffeine, in the brew that probably did the trick. In fact, diabetes risk was reduced most in participants who preferred decaffeinated coffee, the researchers said.

"In our study, for whatever reason, it doesn't look like caffeine has anything to do with it," said lead researcher Mark A. Pereira, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

In the study, Pereira's team gathered data on nearly 29,000 older women who answered questions about risk factors for diabetes such as age, body mass index, physical activity and smoking. They also reported on their consumption of various foods and beverages, including regular and decaffeinated coffee.

Adjusting for those risk factors, the researchers found that women who drank more than six cups a day of any type of coffee were 22 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, the kind that occurs in adult life, compared to those who avoided coffee. But diabetes risk dropped even more -- by 33 percent -- for those who drank more than six cups a day of decaf, the study authors found.

Pereira pointed out that coffee has many components, including powerful antioxidant chemicals similar to those found in berries and grapes. "When you get up to four or five or more cups per day, you might have very powerful antioxidant activity," he said. "That might be important for protecting the pancreas' beta cells from oxidant damage," he said.

Several other studies, including one done at the Harvard School of Public Health, have backed up those original findings. One component of coffee that has caught the researchers attention is chlorogenic acid, which seems to be able to slow the absorption of sugar by cells. Studies in rats found that the molecule lowered blood-sugar levels, he said.

 

 

Source: Diabetes In Control: Annals of Internal Medicine, Monday June 26, 2006

 
 
 
 
 
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