Increasing your coffee intake is a good way to get through the daily grind. According to new scientific research, it can also prevent diabetes. Drinking an additional cup-and-a-half of coffee per day over a four-year period was shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 11 per cent.
Researchers from Harvard University's Department of Nutrition examined the associations between four-year changes in coffee and tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. Their investigation included the medical records and observational data of more than 1.6 million persons in the US.
While tea appeared to make no difference, the authors found that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than one cup/day (approximately 360ml) had a 11 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent four years compared to those who made no changes in consumption.
Meanwhile, participants who decreased their coffee intake by more than one cup per day had a 17 per cent higher risk for type 2 diabetes. In other words, changing your coffee drinking habits can affect diabetes risk in a relatively short amount of time.
The changes were independent of initial coffee consumption and other dietary and lifestyle factors over the four year period.
"Our data provide novel evidence that increasing coffee consumption over a four year period is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, while decreasing coffee consumption is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes in subsequent years," the report concludes.
Interestingly, the changes in risk were observed for caffeinated coffee only; decaffeinated coffee proved as ineffective as tea. However, the authors note this may be down to the small proportion of participants who made substantial changes to their decaffeinated coffee consumption habits.
In any event, it sounds like a good excuse to ramp up our daily java quota. Make mine a flat white with one sugar!