Hold on to your hats, coffee lovers. I have yet another reason to drink coffee.
Certainly they’ve already mentioned that coffee lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s and depression. But now there could be evidence linking long-term coffee drinking to significantly reducing your chances of acquiring type II diabetes.
How? Science thinks the answer lies in the anti-inflammatory properties of your coffee.
“Extensive research has revealed that coffee drinking exhibits … beneficial … health effects,” said Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos of the department of nutrition and dietetics at Harokopio University in Athens.
The study wasn’t as controlled as most studies. The group of scientists only observed the participants. No one was assigned to drink coffee, nor were they required to drink a certain amount of coffee. Because of this there is no definitive link between diabetes, but the observations made certainly create the foundations of a cause and effect link.
Between 2001 and 2002, 1,300 people (both men and women) over the age of 18 were selected to participate in the casual study. The participants were asked about their habits of coffee consumption. Drinking less than a cup and a half of coffee was termed “casual coffee drinking”. More than a cup and a half was considered habitual (they failed to differentiate between “habitual coffee drinkers” and those of us who have coffee in an IV drip). The study comprised of 816 casual drinkers, 385 habitual drinkers and 239 non-coffee drinkers (I was surprised those existed too).
Participants were asked to submit to blood tests to evaluate levels of inflammation (which can be checked by certain protein markers in the blood). The tests also measured antioxidants in the body.
In 2012, 191 people had developed diabetes, including 13 per cent of the men and 12 per cent of the women in the original group. And participants who reported higher coffee consumption had lower likelihoods of developing diabetes.
Habitual coffee drinkers were 54 per cent less likely to develop diabetes compared with non-coffee drinkers, even after accounting for smoking, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes and intake of other caffeinated beverages, the researchers reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“Previous studies pointed in the same direction … now we have an additional hint,” said Dr. Marc Y. Donath, chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, who was not part of the study.
We are not yet sure that coffee helps prevent diabetes, but “what is sure and remains more effective is exercise and body weight control,” Donath said by e-mail.
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