How coffee cuts your diabetes riskJittery about coffee guilt? Feel free to have another cup.
(Find out How To Diabetes-Proof Your Life.)
The meta-analysis of 5 studies, updated and rereleased in honor of World Diabetes Day last week, revealed that it takes just three to four cups of coffee throughout the day to get the biggest benefit. But if you cut yourself off at two, not to worry, since each cup of coffee cuts your overall risk by 7-8 percent, according to the report.
How does bean brew do it? More and more, researchers are crediting chlorogenic acid (CGA), which has been shown in studies to delay the absorption of glucose in the body.
“Chronic inflammation is also an important processes in insulin resistance,” explains Siamak Bidel, MD, PHD, professor at the University of Helsinki.
In control trials, coffee drinking was associated with high levels of an anti-inflammatory marker.
Another plus: coffee packs polyphenols, the compounds found in dark chocolate and red wine that damage free radicals and act as antioxidants.
“Coffee consumption may also mediate levels of gut peptides, have prebiotic-like properties, altering gut flora, and ultimately digestion,” says Dr. Bidel.
In addition, a small recent Japanese study found that coffee may help your blood vessels work better. Researchers had 27 healthy adults drink a cup of regular coffee or a cup of decaf in a lab on different days. When subjects drank the full-caff Joe, finger blood flow increased 30 percent compared to when they drank decaf. Previous research has found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart attack.
(No need to feel guilty about giving into your coffee habit—here are 4 Surprising Coffee Cures.)
“They did not control for some important variables, such as stress level or unfavorable lifestyle factors,” says Dr. Bidel. He also noted that previous studies found coffee and cardiovascular disease are not related.
(The Mayo Clinic Proceedings study came to the same conclusion.)
“And in our recent studies, we couldn’t find any association between coffee and the risk of developing GI cancers.”
Rather, Dr. Bidel found that coffee helps attack type 2 diabetes on all sides—when combined with a healthy lifestyle, of course. Best of all, you’ll still reap the benefits if decaf is your drinkof choice.
And the more regularly you sip, the stronger the effect. “It seems so easy and hard to believe,” admits Dr. Bidel, “that simple coffee consumption and a daily pleasant lifestyle can prevent diabetes later in life.”
(Try our diabetes-friendly 1-Week Meal Plan.)