Coffee, tea, even decaf lowers diabetes risk: study

Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:27pm EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who drink the most coffee and tea, even decaffeinated versions, can dramatically lower their risk of diabetes, researchers reported on Monday.

Their study does not answer why this might be but strengthens the findings of earlier studies showing the beverages may prevent type-2 diabetes.

"Every additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in the excess risk of diabetes," Rachel Huxley of The University of Sydney in Australia and an international team of colleagues wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

This meant that people who drank three to four cups a day had a 25 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than those who drank little or no tea or coffee.

Huxley's team did what is known as a meta-analysis, taking a look at smaller published studies to add up greater numbers of people to show patterns more clearly.

They looked at 18 different studies covering more than 450,000 people.

The trend was clear, but the reasons were not.

"Because most of the studies included in this review did not provide data on the effects of these beverages or their components on measures of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and insulin sensitivity, we cannot provide further evidence on the mechanisms involved," they wrote.

For instance, the research did not show whether people who drank more coffee were eating or drinking less unhealthy stuff.   Continued...

<p>An East Timorese worker shows a dried coffee beans in Dili, July 5, 2007, at coffee factory which opened in 1962. REUTERS/Beawiharta</p>