People who drink more coffee (regular or decaffeinated) or tea appear to have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a rigorous analysis of previous medical studies.
Each cup of regular coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7% reduction in risk, according to researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia. Those who drank 3 to 4 cups per day had roughly a 25% lower risk than those who drank 0 to 2 cups per day.
People who drank more than 3 to 4 cups of decaffeinated coffee per day had about a 33% lower risk of developing diabetes than those who drank no decaf. And those who drank more than 3 to 4 cups of tea had a 20% lower risk than those who drank no tea.
“That the apparent protective effect of tea and coffee consumption appears to be independent of a number of potential confounding variables raises the possibility of direct biological effects,” the authors write in a paper published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
Because decaf seems to offer protective benefits, caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the reduced risk. Other compounds in coffee and tea—including magnesium and antioxidants known as lignans or chlorogenic acids—may be involved, the authors note.
Future studies will be required to determine whether therapeutic coffee and tea “doses” can help prevent type 2 diabetes—a disease that will affect 380 million people by 2025.
If such studies confirm these beverages’ interventional effects, the authors envision a time when “we advise our patients most at risk for [type 2] diabetes to increase their consumption of tea and coffee in addition to increasing their levels of physical activity and weight loss.”
We, of course, recommend organic coffee and tea to reduce your exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals.