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Caffeine linked to lower type 2 diabetes risk long-term

Men and women who drank more coffee and other caffeinated beverages were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank few or no caffeinated beverages, report researchers in a new study.


While the authors stressed that their findings did not prove that drinking coffee lowers the risk for diabetes, and people should not increase coffee drinking in order to prevent type 2 diabetes, it does further confirm the link between caffeine and glucose tolerance.


A recent Dutch study also identified an association between higher coffee consumption and lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. However it did not distinguish between intake of regular and decaffeinated coffee.


The new US study, published in today's Annals of Internal Medicine (vol 140, issue 1, pp1-8), found a statistically significant protective association between total caffeine intake and type 2 diabetes mellitus and a modest inverse association with decaffeinated coffee consumption.


The data was taken from a study of more than 126,000 men and women who reported their intake of coffee and other caffeinated beverages every two to four years over a period of 12 to 18 years. Thee participants did not have diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease at baseline.


The association of coffee and type 2 diabetes was similar in strength to the association between consumption of tea and risk for diabetes, added the authors.


Coffee's impact on health is a controversial one as it has also been shown to have negative effects, both for a foetus and through raising risk of heart attack. But evidence of its relationship with glucose has merited European funding for a research project currently underway, while the coffee industry is also hoping that its health benefits could boost profits.


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