Coffee may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

Do you love your morning cuppa, but feel a little guilty if you refill your reusable coffee cup for a second (or third!) time each day? Worry no more, for a new study has revealed that increasing your levels of coffee consumption may reduce the risk of a serious health problem!

In fact, it was found that over a four-year period, increasing your coffee consumption by one and a half cups per day could result in an 11 per cent decrease in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The research was led by Dr Frank Hu and Dr Shilpa Bhupathiraju from Harvard University's Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and​ was published in Diabetologia, which is the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Using observational data from three US-based studies to analyse the relationship between coffee consumption and diabetes risk, the researchers assessed 95,974 females aged 25 to 55 years and 27,759 men aged 40 to 75 years.

It was found those who drank more than one cup extra per day over a four-year period had 11 per cent less risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the following four years, compared to those who did not alter their coffee consumption.

In comparison, those who decreased the amount of coffee they drank over a four-year period by one cup or more had a 17 per cent higher risk of developing the disease.

Interestingly, those who drank the most coffee – three or more cups per day – were least at risk of type 2 diabetes. They had a 37 per cent lower risk than those who consumed one or fewer cups per day.

The researchers also collected data on diet, lifestyle, medical conditions and other chronic conditions for more than 20 years during the study, and note that it's possible individuals with existing health risks for type 2 diabetes might lower their coffee intake after diagnosis, which could skew the findings.

However, the results appear to show that drinking coffee could be better for you than you thought – so next time you feel guilty for sipping down that fourth bevvy in your reusable coffee cup during a stressful day at work, give yourself a pat on the back instead!