Well, if you couldn’t find a reason for drinking more coffee, you have one now. Recent studies have shown that coffee not only reduces the risk of depression and Alzheimer’s but also lowers blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetics.
In an analysis of previous studies, researchers discovered that 2 or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day decreased your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 12 percent. “Unleaded” coffee offered some reduction, but much less than caffeinated.
Additionally, research reported by the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes showed that 3-4 cups of regular coffee each day may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by a whopping 25 percent. This report also showed that regular coffee was much more protective among women of all ethnic groups than decaffeinated.
What’s the secret ingredient in caffeinated coffee that lowers blood glucose?
The researchers who conducted the study haven’t pinpointed exactly why coffee has this affect, but they suspect it may be the action of one of the plant compounds found in the magic bean, chlorogenic acid (CGA). In previous studies, CGA has been shown to slow the absorption of glucose.
Dr. Joe Vinson, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Scranton (Pennsylvania), said that coffee is a major dietary source of chlorogenic acid. CGA occurs naturally in apples, cherries, plums, and other fruits and vegetables, and in copious amounts in green and unroasted coffee beans. But the high temps used to roast coffee breaks down much of the CGA, so Vinson suggests that to get the greatest benefit, one should eat the green or unroasted coffee beans, or take green coffee extract as a dietary supplement. In fact, in a previous study, Vinson found that overweight and obese people who took the extract lost 10 percent of their body weight in 22 weeks. “There was a significant dose-response effect of the green coffee extract and no apparent gastrointestinal side effects,” Vinson said. In other words, the higher the dose of green coffee extract, the more the study participant’s blood glucose was lowered.
But researchers at UCLA have another theory. They discovered that women who drank 4 cups of caffeinated coffee each day had higher levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). This chemical regulates the body’s sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone, which are thought by some to play a role in Type 2 diabetes. They found that women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee each day had significantly higher levels of SHBG than those who drank no coffee. These coffee drinkers were also 56 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. And once again, the researchers found that drinking decaffeinated coffee offered no protection.
Of course, your best defense against diabetes is a healthy diet, and perhaps now, coffee too. Make mine a vat!