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The Latest on Coffee and Type 2 Diabetes

The Latest on Coffee and Type 2 Diabetes

The theory of spontaneous generation—living creatures can emerge from inanimate objects—was considered good science into the 1600’s. One Flemish physician created a recipe for a mouse (a soiled cloth plus wheat for 21 days). This seems foolish now, but today anecdotal studies are still reported as absolute fact. The latest? Caffeinated coffee prevents type 2 diabetes.

Using self-reported info from three huge studies, researchers concluded: People who drink 1½  cups MORE coffee a day than usual over a four year period cut their risk for type 2 diabetes by 11 percent. (Three cups a day cuts the risk 37 percent.) And conversely, folks who eliminate 1+ cups a day increase their risk 17 percent. But the data don’t reveal if drinking more coffee boosts energy, so you work out more and that’s what cuts the risk, or if folks reduce coffee intake because of chronic insomnia, which is itself linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Other studies do show you can reap anti-cancer, anti-dementia, and longevity benefits from consuming caffeine —especially if you’re a fast caffeine metabolizer. That means you don’t experience headaches, abnormal heartbeats, anxiety, or gastric upset after a few cups of coffee. (If you have these reactions regularly, you don’t reap those benefits.) But if you want to dodge type 2 diabetes, start by avoiding the Five Food Felons, walking 10,000 steps daily, getting 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, and reducing stress. Then enjoy a cup or three of Joe (if you’re a fast metabolizer).

Medically reviewed in August 2018.

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