Good news about coffee is always exciting, so here’s a bit more: scientists have linked drinking 3-4 cups a coffee a day to a decreased risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Or maybe we should say that scientists have once more linked drinking coffee to a decreased risk for Type 2 diabetes, because this isn’t the first time researchers have reached that conclusion.
In April, a study published in the journal Nature found that “habitual” coffee drinkers who consume more than 1.5 cups of coffee a day cut their risk of developing the disease over a 10-day period by more than half.
And a 2014 study published in Diabetes Care found that coffee drinkers who consumed a single cup of coffee a day cut their relative diabetes risk by 92%. Those who drank 3 cups a day cut their risk by 79%, and the biggest coffee lovers – those who drank 6 cups a day – reduced their risk by 67%.
For the newest study, researchers from Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, looked at the effects of a number of compounds, including cafestol and caffeic acid, both of which increased insulin secretion when glucose was added. Cafestol was found to increase glucose uptake in muscle cells, matching the levels of a currently prescribed anti-diabetes drug.
Other compounds like contribute to coffee’s health benefits, Soren Gregersen from the Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine noted in the Journal of Natural Products, because coffee filters eliminate a significant amount of the cafestol in drip coffee.
In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly (insulin resistance). The pancreas initially makes more insulin to make up for the deficit, but eventually this organ can’t keep up with the demand and can’t make enough insulin to maintain healthy glucose levels.
And while coffee may prevent diabetes and offers numerous other health benefits, loading it up with sugar and flavored coffee creamers negates its power to regulate blood sugar. Having a couple of GMO-filled, sugar-laden specialty coffee drinks at Starbucks won’t cut it.
If you can’t stomach black coffee but you want to reap its benefits, Stevia is a great sweetener. Some studies have suggested it could help prevent and reverse diabetes, but make sure you get the all-natural kind.
And you can always spice up your java with healthy spices like cinnamon (stabilizes blood sugar, helps improve LDL (bad) cholesterol and is a good source of vitamin K and iron), nutmeg (good source of manganese), cocoa powder (lots of protein, potassium and zinc, and is also a very good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese) and cardamom (plenty of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc, and it is also a very good source of dietary fiber, iron and manganese).
This post originally appeared at Natural Society.