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Increasing Daily Coffee Consumption May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Posted June 24, 2014

People who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a four-year period had an 11 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes to their coffee consumption, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Boston, researchers. In addition, the study found that those who decreased their coffee consumption by more than a cup per day increased their type 2 diabetes risk by 17 percent. (A cup of coffee was defined as eight ounces black or with a small amount of milk and/or sugar.)

“Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk,” said Shilpa Bhupathiraju, PhD, lead author and research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH. “Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.”

Since people with diabetes are at increased risk for serious health complications including vision loss; heart disease; stroke; kidney failure; tooth loss; amputation of toes, feet, and legs; and premature death, lowering the rate of the disease can also help prevent these negative health problems associated with it. Moreover, many amputees have an increased risk for diabetes, which higher coffee consumption could potentially reduce.

The study, “Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women,” was published April 24 in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).