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Coffee 'cuts risk of diabetes'

28 April 2014 09:29

Coffee drinking linked to reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes

Coffee drinking linked to reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes

Drinking more coffee immediately cuts the risk of diabetes, a new study suggests.

People who increased their daily intake by more than a cup had an 11% reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes over a four-year period, according to findings published in the journal Diabetologia.

The opposite effect was noticed when people started to drink less coffee, as lowering consumption by at least a cup a day was associated with a 17% increased risk of diabetes.

Those who drank three cups of coffee or more each day were 37% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who consumed a maximum of one cup, the scientists said.

The researchers, led by Professor Frank Hu from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US, assessed data from almost 124,000 men and women for their study.

Professor Hu said their findings show there is both an immediate and long-term reduction in diabetes risk associated with drinking more coffee.

Certainly previous studies have already linked coffee consumption with protection from diabetes, although as is always the case the research picture is constantly changing and not all studies turn out exactly the same results.

An earlier study also led by Professor Hu in February found six cups of coffee a day lowered Type 2 diabetes risk by a third compared to drinking no coffee and it didn't matter if it was ordinary or decaf coffee - whereas this latest study noted the positive effect in caffeinated coffee only.

Dr Richard Elliott, research communications officer at Diabetes UK, said the study does not necessarily show that coffee was the direct reason for the apparent effect so people should not think they will certainly reduce their risk of diabetes by drinking lots of coffee.

There may be other factors at play not identified in the study, Dr Elliott suggested, with one possibility being that people are being encouraged to cut back on coffee when they are at high risk of developing the condition.

Ensuring you maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and doing regular exercise are the most effective ways of cutting your diabetes risk, he added.

While Brits may be excited at the prospect of coffee as a health benefit, it is always important to purchase travel insurance before going on holiday.