Caffeine is known to reduce sensitivity to insulin, although other components of coffee such as magnesium and chlorogenic acid may offer health benefits.
In this study, Dr Rob van Dam’s team prospectively assessed the effect of varying coffee consumption on the development of type 2 diabetes in around 17,000 Dutch adults.
They found that individuals with high coffee consumption (those who drank 7 or more cups of coffee per day) were 50% less likely to develop type-2 diabetes compared with those who drank 2 cups or less per day.
This remained the case, even when confounding factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and body mass were taken into account.
|People who drink ≥7 cups of coffee per day are 50% less likely to develop type-2 diabetes, than those who drink ≤2.|
Dr van Dam comments, "Caffeine acutely lowers insulin sensitivity, but long-term effects are unknown”.
“In an intervention study, increased coffee consumption for 14 days reduced fasting plasma glucose, whereas substitution of regular coffee for decaffeinated coffee for 20 days did not affect plasma glucose”.
“That study did not include a control group, but the results suggested that components of coffee other than caffeine could be beneficial for glucose metabolism”.
He concludes, “In view of the widespread use of coffee and the large health burden of type 2 diabetes, our finding of an inverse association between coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes could have important public-health implications”.
“However, our findings need to be replicated and possible adverse effects on other health aspects should be considered in the choice to consume coffee”.