But as Reuters reports, a long-term study shows that the inflammation-lowering effects of coffee could be a reason regular consumers are 54% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-coffee drinkers. These results were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
More than 1,300 men and women participated in the study, which began in 2001 in Athens, Greece. The random sampling included 816 ‘casual’ consumers – meaning they drank less than 1.5 daily cups of coffee, and 385 ‘habitual’ drinkers – who drank more than 1.5 cups per day, and 239 non-coffee drinkers.
Blood tests were done for each participant to evaluate their protein levels – markers of inflammation and antioxidant levels – which indicate the body’s ability to neutralize cell-damaging “free radicals.”
Ten years later, 191 people had developed diabetes. What was concluded from the study is that the people who reported higher coffee consumption had lower likelihoods of developing the disease – even after accounting for smoking, high blood pressure, and family history of diabetes!
Why is this?
Levels of serum amyloid, an inflammatory marker in the blood, pointed to a connection between coffee and diabetes, say researchers. Higher consumption of the beverage resulted in lower amyloid levels, and, in effect, reduced potential for developing the disease.
Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, the Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece, commented:
“Oxidative stress has been shown to accelerate the dysfunction of pancreatic b-cells and antioxidants intake has been shown to decrease diabetes risk, so the antioxidant components of coffee may be beneficial, but still more research is needed toward this direction.”
The long-term study is definitely intriguing…. Avid coffee drinkers are not likely surprised, but if you do not yet indulge in a cup o’ Joe, will you start sipping the beverage more often? Comment your thoughts below.
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