Drink up!

Coffee associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes

By Steve Born

Whether you prefer yours caffeinated or decaffeinated, drinking coffee can significantly reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. That's the conclusion of a recent meta-analysis of 28 studies involving a total of more than 1 million male and female participants from countries around the world, conducted from 1966 to 2013. This new review, published in Diabetes Care, further confirms earlier meta-analyses that linked coffee consumption with a decrease in risk of type 2 diabetes.

Compared to minimal to no coffee consumption, drinking one cup of caffeinated coffee per day is associated with a 9% reduction in type 2 diabetes; drinking one cup of decaf daily reduced risk by 6%, according to the data. The rate of reduction increased in tandem with an increase in the number of cups of coffee consumed - three cups daily reduced risk by about 20%, while six cups daily reduced risk by 33%.

As explained by head researcher, Dr. Frank B. Hu, coffee's protective effect in decreasing the risk for type 2 diabetes possibly can be attributed to chlorogenic acid, a naturally occurring compound that helps improve insulin sensitivity and inhibits blood sugar absorption. Coffee also contains other antioxidants (polyphenols), as well as chromium, magnesium, and other minerals, all of which are believed to work synergistically to impart coffee's beneficial effects.

While eating right, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight all remain critically important to the prevention of type 2 diabetes, this new meta-analysis confirms that drinking coffee, caffeinated or not, makes a significant and healthy contribution. HN