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Drinking a lot more coffee could reduce your risk of getting diabetes

Unfortunately, there was no good news for tea drinkers – be they Barry or Lyons.

Image: Coffee via Shutterstock

SOMETIMES IT SEEMS science can’t make up it’s mind.

We had always put coffee in the ‘not great for us/necessary’ category. But now it looks like it can have some advantages – and, no, not just to keep us awake for deadlines.

New research shows that increasing coffee consumption can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. And, decreasing your intake could increase your risk.

And we’re not talking small numbers.

Increasing your coffee intake by one and a half cups per day over four years can decrease your chances of developing diabetes by 11 per cent.

Those who had moderate to large decreases in consumption had an 18 per cent higher risk of diabetes.

Published in Diabetologia, a European journal, this new study shows that the ‘high-stable consumers’ who maintained a daily intake of three cups or more a day had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes.

That is 37 per cent lower than ‘low-stable consumers’ who have just one cup or less a day.

“Changes in coffee consumption habits appear to affect diabetes risk in a relatively short amount of time,” said authors of the paper said.

The researchers, led by Shilpa Bhupathiraju of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, tracked the diet and lifestyles of more than 120,000 health sector workers for the study.

The outcome may reflect a “true change in risk”, but may also be explained by people cutting out coffee after being diagnosed with conditions like high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol associated with risk for type 2 diabetes, said the study authors — one of whom had received funding from coffee-vending company Nestec for a different study.

Experts who analysed the new research for the Science Media Centre, said the team had merely evaluated potential short-term benefits and provided no evidence that long-term coffee intake lowered diabetes risk.

The research measured changes in consumption rather than absolute intake, said the analysts.

“No recommendations for coffee intake can be derived from this paper,” said a summary, adding the statistical analysis of the data was “potentially misleading”.

The researchers had found that neither changes in consumption of tea, nor of decaffeinated coffee, was associated with risk of type 2 diabetes – a high blood sugar disease often linked to obesity.

Unfortunately, for Irish tea drinkers there was “no evidence of an association between 4-year increases in tea consumption and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes”.

Additional reporting by AFP

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