Coffee is consumed more than any other beverage around the world. Alongside the popularity, though, is a bad reputation, mainly because your average cup of coffee comes with steep caffeine content. Consumption was viewed as problematic because it had a tendency to increase blood pressure in certain individuals. It’s also been associated with shakiness, insomnia and caffeine withdrawals once you stop drinking it.
Excessive coffee ingestion can lead to unpleasant side effects. However, if you drink coffee responsibly and don’t drink more than five cups a day, there are a number of health benefits that you should note as well. Coffee can increase mental alertness and concentration. It can also improve blood sugar and help protect your liver from fatty degeneration. How so? It contains many active ingredients that serve as antioxidants and potent anti-inflammatory chemicals, too.
Previous research has indicated that the regular intake of coffee may reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
Some recent evidence has also emerged showing the consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Raise a cup of joe to that!
Researchers from Harvard analyzed data from three large population-based studies involving approximately 120,000 people spanning a 20-year period. The subjects in these studies filled out dietary questionnaires every four years; those who reported having type 2 diabetes were also required to complete additional health questionnaires.
Health Benefits of Coffee
The results of this extensive analysis revealed that those people who had consumed more coffee over a four-year period had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, those participants who had increased their consumption of coffee by at least one cup per day experienced an 11% reduction in risk for developing the disease over the four-year period compared with others that did not increase their coffee intake. Retrospectively, those participants who decreased their consumption of coffee by more than one cup per day over the same time period experienced a 17% increased risk of developing the illness.
According to the lead researcher, Shilpa Bhupathiraju, “Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk.” Bhupathiraju also concludes, “Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habits can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.”
Coffee Improves Blood Sugar and Reduces Inflammation
This new evidence reveals what previous research suggested. Coffee can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by improving blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation. The antioxidants within coffee previously have been attributed to the unique effects coffee consumption has upon glucose metabolism. These antioxidants, known as polyphenols, can influence the effects that inflammation has on insulin activity in various cells contained within the liver, muscle and fat.
Coffee, as it turns out, is a very important beverage to drink in moderate quantities if you want to maintain your health. An intake of coffee, as long as it doesn’t exceed five cups per day, is considered to be quite safe and tolerable for most people. Just hold the cream and sugar (those empty calories!) for best health results.
McNamee, D. Increased coffee consumption may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. Website, April 28/14.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275979.php. Last accessed, April 28/14.
Bhupathiraju, S. et.al. Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women, Diabetologia, DOI 10.1007s00125-014-3235-7.