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Antidiabetic Effect of Coffee comes from Caffeine

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Research findings have suggested that consuming coffee might help prevent diabetes. Now scientists have new evidence that coffee has antidiabetic properties that come mainly from caffeine.

According to the findings, epidemiological surveys have given scientists clues that coffee drinking might reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance. Lifestyle changes that include adding coffee to the diet was studied by scientists to see if habitual consumption could be considered a diabetes prevention tool combined with exercise and other lifestyle factors.

The study authors say diabetes is associated with high rates of morbidity and premature deaths. Diabetes is anticipated to become more widespread and the researchers say "the need for preventive action is widely acknowledged". Caffeine contains compounds that include caffeine, chlorogenic acid, quinides, trigonelline, and lignan, but until now scientists were unable to pinpoint exactly what ingredient in coffee helps prevent diabetes. Some studies have even suggested that decaffeinated coffee might prevent the disease.

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The scientists treated mice genetically engineered for diabetes and fed them a caffeine solution. When the researchers also factored in diet and weight loss, they found it was the caffeine solution that prevented the development of Type 2 diabetes in the mice that should have developed the disease.

The authors write, "Our results indicated that caffeine is one of the most effective antidiabetic compounds in coffee. We hope to identify the target tissues upon which coffee or caffeine acts directly, as well as effective antidiabetic compounds other than caffeine. However, the present results suggest that coffee consumption may help to prevent type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome." The study suggests caffeine can help prevent diabetes because it lowers inflammatory cytokines in fatty tissue and helps alter the metabolic effects of fatty liver.

There may be more compounds in coffee besides caffeine that have antidiabetic properties and the researchers plan to continue their studies to find out if caffeine, chlorogenic acid, quinides, trigonelline, and lignans in coffee act synergistically to help prevent diabetes.

Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry



Kathleen, ...very informative article. Thanks