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Doctors and researchers have known for quite some time that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes as they get older. Regular coffee drinkers also seem to have a reduced risk of chronic hypertension, coronary disease and memory loss associated with aging. A recently released study just may offer some insight into why regular coffee consumption appears beneficial in all of these conditions.
The study, published in the July 2015 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was designed to investigate associations between coffee drinking and the development of diabetes. In 2002, scientists asked 3,042 patients to fill out questionnaires regarding their coffee drinking and other lifestyle habits, and sorted the participants into three groups – abstinent, casual and habitual coffee drinkers – those who drank at least 1.5 cups of coffee daily.
Researchers followed the groups and evaluated them for incidence of type 2 diabetes. In addition, the researchers measured the amount of serum amylase and other biomarkers indicating oxidative stress, as well as measuring inflammation. At the 10-year mark, 191 patients had developed type 2 diabetes. After adjusting the findings to account for other lifestyle factors, researchers concluded that habitual coffee drinkers had a 54% lower risk of developing diabetes than those who drank no coffee at all.
That wasn’t all the news, though. Researchers also found that coffee drinkers, on the whole, had lower serum amyloid-a levels than those who didn’t drink coffee. Serum amyloid a is a protein found in high concentration in during the acute phase of inflammation, and is an accepted marker for the presence of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a common factor in many diseases associated with aging, including Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension and chronic heart diseases. While this study doesn’t prove that coffee may reduce or prevent chronic inflammation, it does suggest that inflammation – and the inflammation reducing compounds found in coffee – may be the reason that coffee seems to be helpful in such a wide variety of maladies.
The Main Take-Aways
– Coffee seems to play a role in reducing inflammation. This could be important in managing many chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
– Drinking at least 1 1/2 cups of coffee daily reduces the chance of devleoping type 2 diabetes.
Study: Koloverou, E., D B Panagiotakos, C. Pitsavos, et al. “The Evaluation of Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Biomarkers on Coffee–diabetes Association: Results from the 10-year Follow-up of the ATTICA Study (2002–2012).” Eur J Clin Nutr (July 2015). Web. 30 July 2015.