Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Java Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Coffee May Have Health Benefits After All

WebMD Health News

Nov. 7, 2002 -- Coffee isn't exactly lauded for its nutritional value, but new research shows it could cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half.

In type 2 diabetes, the body does not adequately respond to the effects of insulin -- the hormone that affects blood sugar level. Eventually this leads to a rise in blood sugar, which over time can cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and blindness. Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of diabetes and more commonly occurs in overweight people.

Caffeine is known to decrease the body's response to insulin. However, other ingredients found in coffee -- magnesium and chlorogenic acid -- may have beneficial effects, say the researchers.

To test the overall effect of coffee on type 2 diabetes, researchers followed more than 17,000 Dutch adults. After several years of follow-up, those who drank seven or more cups a day were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with those who drank less than two cups a day. This held true even after taking other lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet, and alcohol into consideration. The study is published in the November issue of The Lancet.

Tea did not appear to have any effect on risk of diabetes. Not enough people in the study drank decaffeinated coffee regularly to determine if the effects would be different.

The long-term effects of drinking too much caffeine are not known and other health issues could develop, study leader R.M. van Dam, MSc, says in a news release. More research is needed to determine the effects of long-term coffee drinking on health. The research team is with the department of nutrition and health at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner