(BlackDoctor.org) — New studies show that there are more benefits to drinking coffee than the jolt of energy it provides. Research shows coffee may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted one of the biggest, long-term studies on the subject. They found the more coffee people drank, the greater the protection against diabetes.
The study followed 41,934 men for 12 years and 84,276 women for 18 years. At the beginning of the study, the participants did not have type 2 diabetes. They were asked to answer questions about their coffee-drinking habits (regular and decaffeinated) every two to four years. Over the years, 1,333 new cases of type 2 diabetes were reported among the men and 4,085 among the women.
Men who reported drinking more than six cups of regular coffee a day cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half when compared to non-drinkers. Women who reported drinking that much cut their risk by nearly 30%. Decaffeinated coffee also showed benefits, but the results were weaker.
What’s Inside the Bean
Researchers haven’t identified what’s inside of coffee that wards off diabetes. But the Harvard study reported both regular and decaffeinated coffee contains loads of antioxidants like chlorogenic acid (one of the compounds that provide coffee’s flavor) and magnesium. These ingredients can improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin and may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the study.
Caffeine’s role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes among coffee drinkers has been unclear. In fact, a recent study at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health suggests caffeine may not be a major player. Researchers followed more than 28,000 postmenopausal women for 11 years. They found that women who drank at least six cups of coffee, particularly decaffeinated, had a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers.