How Coffee Lowers Your Risk for Diabetes


87599112In the last several years, there has been some research published that has looked at the influence that coffee has on human health outcomes. One such relationship is the effect that coffee has upon the development of type 2 diabetes. Although the regular consumption of coffee has been shown to stabilize blood sugar and reduce inflammation in diabetics, this time, researchers wanted to know if it was the coffee itself providing the benefits or the caffeine contained within coffee.

A new report recently published assessed the collective results from 28 studies. This meta analysis included data from 1,109,272 participants involving 45,335 cases of diabetes. The average follow-up period in these studies ranged from less than a year to 20 years.

The results of this analysis indicated that there was an inverse relationship established between coffee consumption and the development of type 2 diabetes. This means that the higher the coffee consumption an individual reported, the lower their risk was of developing one of the most common forms of chronic disease currently plaguing the U.S.

Not only was this relationship established but this risk reduction occurred in a dose-response relationship. This means that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced proportionately with the amount of coffee consumed. In addition, this associated risk reduction occurred regardless of any effects caffeine may have contributed. So it made no difference whether the coffee was caffeinated or not, the same degree of risk reduction was measured.

“Compared with no coffee consumption…six cups/day of coffee was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes,” said one of the study’s authors.  “Caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee consumption were both associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. We found that a one cup/day increment of regular coffee was associated with a nine percent reduction in diabetes, and one cup/day of decaf was associated with a six percent reduction in diabetes, but the difference in risk reduction between the two types of coffee was not statistically different.”

The current report indicates that the regular consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study also indicates that for those folks who do not tolerate the consumption of caffeine, the same beneficial results can be experienced with decaffeinated coffee.

Coffee contains many complex chemicals which can act as antioxidants inside our bodies. One of these chemicals is chlorogenic acid. This compound is known to affect the release of glucose from food into the bloodstream. Chlorogenic acid is thought to slow the absorption of glucose from the intestine into the bloodstream thereby controlling blood sugar levels and insulin secretion after a meal.

The results of this study do not imply that “more is better” with respect to the consumption of coffee and risk reduction. Although this study showed a clear reduction in risk with the intake of six cups of coffee per day, risk reduction can still be evident with a lower coffee intake.

Melville, N., “Coffee, Even Decaf, Linked to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk,” Medscape web site;, last accessed Feb. 11, 2014.
Ding, M., et al., “Caffeinated and Decaffeinated Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and a Dose-Response Meta-analysis,” Diabetes Care. February 2014; 37(2): 569-586.