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Coffee & diabetes

Researchers report surprising news about coffee and diabetes

Researchers discovered that drinking four cups of coffee a day can slash your risk for Type 2 diabetes in half. Yet past research is conflicting.

A January 12 news release reports that researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind coffee’s protective effect: a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) that has long been thought to play a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes.

A 2009 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that higher levels of SHBG in the blood were linked to a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

In the new study, published in the January issue of the journal Diabetes, women who drank at least four cups of coffee a day were less than half as likely to develop diabetes as non-coffee drinkers.

And there’s bad news for decaf lovers. “Consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not significantly associated with SHBG levels, nor diabetes risk,” said lead author Atsushi Goto of UCLA. “So you probably have to go for the octane.”

This is contrary to a 2006 study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine that found that women who drank six cups of decaffeinated coffee a day had a 22 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t drink any coffee. Researchers reported that caffeinated coffee also seemed to have a protective effect, though not as powerful as that of decaf. Also the causal link between diabetes and Type 2 diabetes isn’t crystal clear: previous studies have shown that coffee can be harmful to people with Type 2 diabetes, because it hinders the breakdown of glucose.

Read the study here: