Consumption of coffee may be associated with a reduction in type-2 diabetes risk according to a study published in the June 2006 edition of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
The researchers used data from the Iowa Women’s Health Study which was conducted between 1986 and 1997 and involved 28,812 post menopausal women. In total, 10% of the women in the study did not drink coffee, 11% consumed between 0 and 1 cups per day, 50% consumed 1 to 3 cups, 19% consumed 4 to 5 cups and the remaining 10% consumed 6 or more cups of coffee per day.
Regular coffee was around twice as popular as decaffeinated coffee. Heavy coffee drinkers tended to have lower blood pressures, used less skim milk, consumed less tea, and were more likely to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol than light or non-coffee drinkers.
After adjusting for variables such as BMI, alcohol consumption, energy intake, physical activity, and cigarette use, there was no significant association between coffee and diabetes risk at levels of consumption below 4 cups a day. Consumption of 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day was associated with a 16% lower risk of type-2 diabetes and consumption of 6 or more cups of coffee a day was associated with a 22% lower risk of type-2 diabetes.
The association was stronger for decaffeinated coffee compared to regular coffee (33% vs 21% for 6 or more cups per day) which suggests that the caffeine in coffee wasn’t responsible for the reduction in diabetes risk.
The correlation also existed after adjustments for magnesium intake, which is present in coffee and is thought to reduce diabetes risk, and phytate which is also present in coffee.
While caffeine, magnesium, and phytate in coffee did not appear to lower the risk of diabetes, it is thought that other minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid present in coffee beans may be responsible for the risk reductions observed in heavy coffee drinkers.
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