Almost one-tenth of Americans are diabetic and most adults drink coffee every day. As it turns out, there might be a link between diabetes and coffee that will have coffee drinkers smiling proudly at their cup of joe. A new article published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products sings coffees praises, because according to the latest research, some of coffee’s natural compounds might offer some protection against the effects of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have developed a resistance to insulin, which is what controls the amount of sugar in the blood. If diabetes is left unmanaged, the liver and muscles stop absorbing extra sugars and as diabetes progresses, the cells within the pancreas that produce insulin die off due to their overuse. Type 2 diabetes can cause damage to large blood vessels throughout the body, including in the heart. Small blood vessels do not escape type 2 diabetes unscathed, and type 2 diabetes can lead to kidney damage, nerve damage, eye trouble, and death.
Coffee, the research indicates, has compounds that can help. Coffee is a mecca of distinct chemical compounds. Coffee contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds.
“This impressive recipe includes quinic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, acetylmethylcarbinol, dimethyl disulfide, putrescine, niacin, trigonelline, theophylline, and our old friend and foe, caffeine,” according to Medical News Today. Habitual coffee drinking, according to past research, does appear to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Now, researchers, including Søren Gregersen at the Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, say they may have found some of the compounds within coffee responsible for the protective effects of coffee against type 2 diabetes. One-half of a percent of the weight of coffee beans is made of cafestol. This has already been found to have possible anti-cancer effects and neuroprotective effects against Parkinson’s disease. According to new research, it can also increase the uptake of sugars into the muscles at a rate similar to that of today’s diabetes medications.
The team also isolated caffeic acid, which has demonstrated anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects in the past. Now, it appears coffee, along with cafestol, increases insulin production in the presence of sugar.
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“This newly demonstrated dual action of cafestol suggests that cafestol may contribute to the preventive effects on type 2 diabetes in coffee drinkers,” Gregersen said.
While coffee filters remove some of the benefits of coffee, the researchers say that drinking three to four cups of coffee every day has already been shown to lower the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, and they have now shown at least two reasons for this. They believe that there must also be other compounds in effect since the benefits are seen even in people who use coffee filters. According to the press release, even decaffeinated coffee probably has the same effects thanks to at least these two bioactive components that are found in coffee. Both could be used in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, they claim.
Scientists at Harvard School of Public Health even claimed previously that when coffee drinkers who cut back on their coffee by more than a cup a day show a 17 percent higher risk of developing diabetes and people who increased their intake by one cup saw an 11 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.
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People often reduce their coffee intake as they get older and after they retire, but age is believed to be more of a factor in diabetes than decreased coffee intake in the aging population. Scientists cautioned that simply upping your coffee intake is not the smart way to manage diabetes risks. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and regular exercise is proven to be more important than coffee intake at preventing type 2 diabetes.
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