Can Coffee Reduce The Risk of Developing Diabetes?

Caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

A study from the Harvard School of Public Health published in the Nutrition Journal (Sept. 2011) found that coffee may have some beneficial role to play in the pre diabetes diet and management of metabolic syndrome. The results of this study showed that five cups of coffee per day for two months were associated with metabolic health benefits.  Research has shown that coffee is a rich source of phytonutrient polyphenol compounds.

The researchers also found that the metabolic benefits were more pronounced in caffeinated coffee suggesting that caffeine is responsible for some of coffee’s apparent benefits.

The study used 45 healthy overweight volunteers that averaged 40 years of age and regularly drank coffee. Over an 8 week time period, the volunteers were asked to drink five cups per day of either:

  • instant caffeinated coffee
  • decaffeinated coffee
  • water

Caffeinated coffee consumption was associated with an increase in blood levels of an inflammation regulating compound called interleukin-6.  The levels of a hormone called adiponectin also increased. Adiponectin is released from fat cells and plays an important role in the regulation of glucose and fat metabolism. These changes did not occur in the decaffeinated group. Further study will need to evaluate the role of caffeine in metabolic health.

Decaffeinated coffee consumption decreased fetuin-A concentrations.  Fetuin-A is found in the blood and appears to be a modulator of insulin resistance.  Increased levels of fetuin-A have been associated with impaired glucose tolerance.

Nutrientology does not advise that you drink 5 cups of coffee per day, but I believe that it is safe to say that you should not necessarily fret over drinking a cup or two of coffee in the morning.

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About Robert Creighton

Dr. Creighton is a podiatrist and foot surgeon with over 26 years in podiatric practice treating thousands of patients afflicted with the physiological, physical, and psychological side effects and complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. He believes these disorders present a pressing public health concern that need to be more actively addressed in a multidisciplinary way. Dr. Creighton graduated from what is now the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology. He is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, a member of the American Public Health Association, an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a Member of the American Nutrition Association.

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