Understanding the Impact of Coffee on Diabetes Prevention

Coffee drinkers who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes may be in luck. Studies have shown that a link exists between caffeinated coffee intake and a reduction in the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In 2 studies, drinking 6-10 cups of coffee lowered the risk of developing diabetes by about 54-55% in men and 29-79% in women. This coffee consumption is more than the average consumption of 3.1 cups per day, and the risk reduction benefit will not be experienced by all people. You should not increase your coffee intake to reduce your risk of diabetes development. Just know you aren’t increasing it if you happen to be a heavy coffee drinker. The benefit found with caffeinated coffee is not found with decaffeinated coffee. Caffeinated coffee appears to have some compounds in it that help protect the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ that produces insulin in your body. Although this data does show that this consumption may slow the development of type 2 diabetes, it does nothing to help improve blood sugars once you have diabetes.

Caffeinated coffee drinking in excess can cause some undesirable effects such as headaches, stomach aches/problems, nervousness, insomnia, anxiety, ringing in the ears and even can cause abnormal heart rhythms. If you experience these symptoms it may be time to cut back on your coffee consumption.

There are other things to keep in mind when drinking coffee to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Many coffee drinkers add sugar, cream and/or milk to their coffee. These all can impact blood sugar levels. The more coffee you drink containing these items, the higher sugar and fat content you will consume. This adds calories and can increase your weight leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. So if you are a heavy caffeinated coffee drinker, without an excess of cream and sugar you may be helping prevent the onset of diabetes. A better way to prevent diabetes is through lifestyle changes such as physical activity and balanced meals. If you think you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider for ways to improve your lifestyle and decrease your risk.

This Article is Brought to you By Our Guest Staff Writers:
Brandon Gullison, PharmD Candidate 2016
‎Damian Bialonczyk, PharmD, MBA Fellow, MCPHS University
Jennifer Goldman, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, FCCP Professor of Pharmacy Practice, MCPHS University
Clinical Pharmacist, Well Life Medical, Peabody