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Coffee and Tea Each Day May Keep Type 2 Diabetes Away
A recent study conducted by a team of researchers from several different countries published in the December 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that coffee and tea drinkers are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. In fact, the more of these beverages a person consumes on a daily basis, the lower the risk, with those drinking three to four cups a day having a 25 percent lower risk than those who drink only two cups a day. Another interesting outcome of the study was that the results were unaffected by whether or not the beverage was caffeinated.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which either the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the cells don't make use of the insulin that is produced. When you eat, the body breaks down the sugars and starches in the food into glucose that cells require in order to function. Insulin takes that glucose from the blood to the cells. If there isn't enough insulin to perform this job, or the body doesn't use the insulin properly, then the glucose builds up in the blood, and the individual develops Type 2 diabetes.
The conclusions that were derived were the result of reviewing 18 studies that reported on the association between coffee and tea consumption and the incidence of diabetes. Six of these focused on the relationship between decaffeinated coffee and diabetes occurrence, and seven discussed how decaffeinated tea affected the onset of the disease. All of the studies were conducted between 1966 and July 2009, and all of them showed a direct relationship between the increase in daily consumption and the decrease in the risk factor. The researchers noted that for every additional cup of coffee or tea the study participants drank, there was a seven percent reduction in risk.
So, what is it about these beverages that affect insulin sensitivity? While it clearly is not caffeine, it may have something to do with the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds these beverages contain that are similar to what is found in some types of vegetables. However, further study is needed before this could be said with any certainty.
Now before you go out and start coffee loading, remember the problems associated with drinking too much caffeinated coffee still exist. Heavy coffee drinkers can experience withdrawal-like symptoms, causing them to drink even more of the beverage just to get back to their usual level of functioning. Much the same way as a drug dependent individual increases their consumption to get the same high.
Too much java can also cause jitters and difficulty in falling asleep. Studies have proven that individuals metabolize caffeine in different ways, so either know how caffeine affects you before you increase your intake or opt for decaf.
For those for whom caffeine isn't a problem, you can drink up to six cups of eight to 10 ounces of black coffee a day. An important caveat to keep in mind is that you need to stay away from the fancy coffeehouse brews with their added calories or you will be hurting yourself in the long run.