Caffeine and Diabetes

The connection between diabetes and the consumption of caffeine has been closely examined by many researchers. Because so many individuals rely on coffee to get through their days, it's important to understand how the drug interacts with a disease like diabetes.

Unfortunately, the findings are mixed.

Caffeine is a natural substance found in a number of plants that is then used in coffee, tea and cocoa. On top of that, it is utilized as a food additive in many carbonated drinks and forms of medication. Two to three cups of brewed coffee alone is enough to reach the recommended daily limit of caffeine consumption.

According to multiple studies, higher intake of coffee and coffee-related products can be associated with better glucose tolerance. This, in turn, is often linked with a noticeably lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In some cases, short-term usage of caffeine has been shown to lower insulin sensitivity.

However, other studies show how caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea raise blood sugar levels of individuals suffering from diabetes. In fact, the increase in blood sugar was so high in some studies, it nearly canceled out the benefits attained by using diabetes medication. In these studies, diabetics -- who enjoyed coffee -- were told to stick with decaf if they couldn't quit drinking coffee altogether.

Based on the contradicting reports offered by researchers, the old adage “use everything in moderation” applies. Five to six cups of coffee each day, countless carbonated drinks and abuse of cocoa-laced products is asking for trouble if you’re either a diabetic or at a high risk of becoming one.

Above all else, it’s important to remember that caffeine isn’t limited to coffee. Many items contain caffeine and, in turn, can have the same health benefits and risks we associate with a cup of joe.

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