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New updated analysis confirms coffee linked to lower diabetes risk

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Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee offer the benefit

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Previous meta-analyses identified an inverse association of coffee consumption with the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, an updated meta-analysis is needed because new studies comparing the trends of association for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee have since been published.

Dr. Frank Hu, MD, MPH. PhD, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and senior author of this study along with colleagues examined the association between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes risk.

Researchers searched PubMed and Embase for cohort or nested case-control studies that assessed the relationship of coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes from 1966 to February 2013.

For this analysis, 28 prospective studies were included with 1,109,272 study participants and 45,335 cases of type 2 diabetes. The follow-up period ranged from 10 months to 20 years.

In comparison to no coffee or rare coffee drinking the results showed the relative risk for diabetes was 0.92 (0.90–0.94) for one cup of coffee, 0.85 (0.82–0.88) for two cups, 0.79 (0.75–0.83) three cups, 0.75 (0.71–0.80) four cups, 0.71 (0.65–0.76) five cups and 0.67 (0.61–0.74) for six cups.

In their conclusion the researchers write “Coffee consumption was inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in a dose-response manner. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee was associated with reduced diabetes risk.”

According to Dr. Hu, "We found that a 1-cup/day increment of regular coffee was associated with a 9% reduction in diabetes, and 1 cup/day of decaf was associated with 6% reduction in diabetes, but the difference in risk reduction between the 2 types of coffee was not statistically different.”

"This study provides strong evidence that regular consumption of coffee is beneficial for prevention of diabetes," Dr. Hu told Medscape Medical News. "For individuals who already drink coffee, they may enjoy this and other potential health benefits, and for those who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, decaf may confer similar benefits."

In closing Dr. Hu related to Medscape Medical News, Coffee is only one of many dietary and lifestyle factors that can contribute to diabetes prevention. Clearly, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the most important way to reduce risk of diabetes. For those who drink coffee regularly, they should enjoy it, but they still need to watch their weight and be physically active."

This research is published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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