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Coffee, Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk Tied

But Researchers Aren't Ready to Recommend Coffee for Diabetes Prevention
WebMD Health News

July 5, 2005 -- People who drink coffee regularly may lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

But don't count on a daily jolt of java to fend off diabetes just yet.

The researchers reporting the finding aren't advising coffee as a diabetes prevention method.

They say they found support for the idea that "habitual coffee consumption is associated with a substantially lower risk of type 2 diabetes."

However, more studies are needed, they write in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Grounds for Research

One of the researchers was Rob M. van Dam, PhD. He works in the nutrition department at Harvard School of Public Health.

He and his colleagues didn't do a new experiment. Instead, they reviewed 15 past studies of coffee and type 2 diabetes.

Nine studies were done over a long time -- six to 20 years. They included a combined total of more than 193,000 people in the U.S. and Europe.

Coffee Findings

People who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes.

They downed at least six or seven cups of coffee per day. They were 35% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who drank less than two cups of coffee daily.

Those who drank four to six cups per day had a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared with people who drank the least coffee, say the researchers.

Similar patterns were seen in six other studies. Those were one-time-only checks; they didn't track diabetes risk over time. More than 17,000 people took part in those projects.

Filtered, Instant, Decaf Brews

Been in a coffee shop lately? If so, you've seen the array of coffee styles.

If coffee has some advantage against diabetes, does it matter what kind you drink?

The findings mainly reflect consumption of drip-filtered coffee. The studies didn't have as many drinkers of instant or unfiltered coffees, say the researchers.

What about decaf coffee? The European studies didn't distinguish between caffeinated and decaf coffee and diabetes risk.

But decaf coffee was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk in two U.S. studies, say the researchers.

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