Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Caffeine Risks May Rattle Diabetic People

Study Shows Caffeine Elevates Blood Glucose Levels in People With Diabetes

Diabetes, Coffee, and Caffeine continued...

"In 2002, we thought this did not make any sense," van Dam says. "This is quite a consistent observation, that coffee has a positive effect on diabetes. But it is becoming increasingly clear it is not the caffeine that is beneficial. The picture is now evolving where we see that some other components of coffee besides caffeine may be beneficial in long-term in reduction of diabetes risk."

In fact, van Dam says, it appears that decaf coffee may actually help people keep their blood sugar under control, whereas regular coffee has a detrimental effect on blood sugar. Caffeine unbalanced by other coffee compounds, he says, may be even worse.

Lane says that if there are anti-diabetes compounds in coffee, they don't offset the harmful effects of caffeine.

"We did do one study where we put caffeine in decaf coffee, and still we saw the same exaggeration of glucose after meals in people with diabetes," he says. "So it seems those other compounds in coffee certainly don't eliminate the caffeine effect we have seen."

So what should people do if they have diabetes or are at high risk of diabetes?

"We take a more nuanced posture -- not that coffee is good for you or bad for you, but that maybe it's better to switch to decaf coffee if you have diabetes or the metabolic syndrome," van Dam says.

Lane says people with diabetes are likely to get different effects from coffee.

"I am not going to say that everyone with diabetes has to quit drinking coffee, but I think those who are concerned about their blood sugar not being as low as they'd like it to be should try quitting coffee," he says. "They will be able to tell right away if it improves their glucose control. And it may help reduce their risk of complications of diabetes or reduce their need for additional diabetes medications."

For regular coffee drinkers, Lane says, quitting caffeine may mean three or four days of headache, sleepiness, or mental grogginess. But it does not mean interminable morning misery.

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