Regular, moderate coffee consumption may decrease an individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research in a report published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.
More than 370 million people worldwide have diabetes making it one of the most significant health problems. To mark World Diabetes Day,
the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee
released an updated report outlining the latest research on coffee and type 2 diabetes.
The updated report is based on a report from the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes, held in 2012 and is updated with the latest research from this field published over the past year.
Key research findings include:
- Epidemiological evidence shows that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day is associated with an approximate 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to consuming none or less than two cups per day(2,3)
- Research has also suggested an inverse dose response, with each additional cup of coffee reducing the relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 7-8 per cent(2,3).
- Caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the protective effects of coffee, as one study(4) suggested that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Recent work(5) showed an advantage of filtered coffee over boiled, decaffeinated coffee over caffeinated coffee and a stronger inverse correlation in those under 60 years age group
- Another study(6) shows that regular but not decaffeinated coffee was much more protective against type 2 diabetes in women of all ethnic groups than in men
The report also puts forward some of the key mechanistic theories that underlie the possible relationship between coffee consumption and the reduced risk of diabetes. These includes the 'Energy Expenditure Hypothesis', which suggests that the caffeine in coffee stimulates metabolism and increases energy expenditure and the 'Carbohydrate Metabolic Hypothesis', whereby it is thought that coffee components play a key role by influencing the glucose balance within the body.
There is also a subset of theories that suggest coffee contains components that may improve insulin sensitivity though mechanisms such as modulating inflammatory pathways, mediating the oxidative stress of cells, hormonal effects or by reducing iron stores.