Harvard Health Letter

Coffee may help reduce type 2 diabetes risk, say Harvard researchers

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Go ahead and say "yes" to another cup of coffee. Increasing your intake may help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. That's according to a study published online in the April 24, 2014, Diabetologia. Harvard researchers found that people who raised their coffee intake by more than one cup per day over a four-year period had an 11% lower risk for type 2 diabetes in the next four years compared with those who made no changes in consumption. Researchers also found that the opposite was true: lowering coffee consumption by more than a cup per day was associated with a 17% increased risk for type 2 diabetes. What is it about this savory brew that's so healthful? "It's unclear if it's something in the coffee beans or if it's in the caffeine. Some studies show reduced risk of type 2 diabetes with decaffeinated as well as caffeinated coffee, but the results have been more consistent for caffeinated coffee. Some possible explanations, beyond caffeine, include chlorogenic acid, which may delay glucose absorption, magnesium, and polyphenols," says Dr. JoAnn Manson, coauthor of the study and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Want to try it? Just keep in mind that a cup is considered 8 ounces of coffee, either black or with a small amount of milk or sugar. Too much caffeine—more than 300 milligrams per day—may lead to insomnia, nervousness, and the jitters.

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