December 19, 2009
Tea And Coffee Cut Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Tea and coffee reduce the risk of insulin-resistant diabetes that many develop in middle age and later.

Drinking more coffee (regular or decaffeinated) or tea appears to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis of previous studies reported in the December 14/28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, JAMA (1).

By the year 2025, approximately 380 million individuals worldwide will be affected by type 2 diabetes (1).

Despite considerable research attention, the role of specific dietary and lifestyle factors remains uncertain, although obesity and physical inactivity have consistently been reported to raise the risk of diabetes mellitus. A previously published meta-analysis suggested drinking more coffee may be linked with a reduced risk, but the amount of available information has more than doubled since.

Decaffeinated coffee appears to cut risks the most while tea cuts risks the least. This makes caffeine unlikely to be the protective agent.

When the authors combined and analyzed the data, they found that each additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in the excess risk of diabetes.

Individuals who drank three to four cups per day had an approximately 25 percent lower risk than those who drank between zero and two cups per day.

In addition, in the studies that assessed decaffeinated coffee consumption, those who drank more than three to four cups per day had about a one-third lower risk of diabetes than those who drank none. Those who drank more than three to four cups of tea had a one-fifth lower risk than those who drank no tea.

Magnesium and some antioxidants might offer protection.

Other compounds in coffee and tea including magnesium, antioxidants known as lignans or chlorogenic acids may be involved, the authors note.

Okay, so is magnesium a plausible protective agent? First off, let us look at how much magnesium is in a cup of coffee. A real cup is 8 ounces though people frequently drink less than 8 ounces at a time. But let us assume 3 8 ounce cups or 24 ounces per day. That's at least in the ballpark since some people drink 4 smaller servings. Well, each ounce of coffee contains 24 mg of magnesium and 34.5 mg of potassium. It also provides 1.6 mg of niacin. 24 ounces times 24 mg equals 576 mg of magnesium - a quite substantial amount.

Over the age of 30 the recommended daily dose of magnesium for males is 420 mg and for females 320 mg. So a 4 cup coffee drinker is going to get more than the recommended daily dose of magnesium.

But tea only contains .3 mg of magnesium per ounce. So tea's protective effect must not be due to magnesium. Tea's lack of magnesium does not mean that the magnesium in coffee isn't helping however. A number of studies have found that magnesium lowers type 2 diabetes risk and risk of metabolic syndrome.

If you want to get more magnesium without drinking coffee then nuts, green leafy vegetables, beans, and whole grains will help.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 December 19 08:04 PM  Aging Diet Metabolism

anonyq said at December 20, 2009 9:04 AM:

Maybe it is not the coffee and tea that protect against Type 2 but the drinks people would otherwise drink that are harmful? There is also the coffee and tea are drinks that you drink at work effect. I wouldn't be surprised if people who don't work have a higher incidence of Type 2

Hong said at December 20, 2009 9:04 AM:

Seattle's Best please

mgrbik said at December 20, 2009 3:35 PM:

anonyq just stuck it in the heart.

Any. A. Mouse said at December 20, 2009 4:09 PM:

There is no standard coffee cup size. Different (brewed) coffee makers mark the cup size based on 5 ounce cups, 6 ounce cups, or even 4 ounce cups.

The modern Krups maker sold in the US uses a 5 ounce cup size. In the past, Krups has used a 6 ounce size. 5 ounce is considered a reasonable compromise between US and European preferences.

anonanon said at December 20, 2009 4:14 PM:

right on anonyq--although did the study control for sugar, cream or none?

anonalongadingdong said at December 20, 2009 4:49 PM:

this is so stupid. lets see here... the following characteristics are associated with Diabetes:

Drinking Coffee and Tea

People who drink Coffee or Tea do so for a boost, usually foregoing a SUGAR boost.
People who eat a lot of SUGAR get fat.

but let us not under any circumstances suggest that sugar consumption is related to Diabetes, even though it has been shown that Diabetes symptoms can actually BE REVERSED if sugar consumption is limited. Despite this knowledge, doctors dont even SUGGEST limiting sugar consumption for type 2 diabetics.

Wombat-socho said at December 20, 2009 5:00 PM:

anonalongadingdong, you must not pay attention to any of the diabetes literature that's been handed out for the last 40 years. ALL recommended diets for diabetics call for reduction of carbohydrates in the diet and cutting back/eliminating sugar! If your doctor isn't telling you that, you need to find a new doctor STAT - or maybe start listening to what they're telling you.

Thras said at December 20, 2009 6:09 PM:

People who drink coffee or tea aren't drinking soda or fruit juice.

Hank said at January 7, 2010 8:03 PM:

There is no information provided on sugar use with the coffee. What percentage of coffee drinkers use sugar, milk, cream of artificial creams? Sugar use is critical, I believe, in any dietary study of diabetes.

Hello World said at November 18, 2012 7:42 AM:

coffee definately wakes me up. It can usually stop a headache, it tones my gums (mouth), it warms me by warming the blood. It relaxes me. It helps me to be regular, and it makes me feel limber and not stiff. Calcium makes me feel stiff, dried out, constipated, and on and on. Coffee is my way of managing calcium right for my body.

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