Jury still out on caffeine and diabetes connection

If you have diabetes, you don't have to give up your daily cup of joe just yet.

While research over the past decade or so has suggested that caffeine temporarily inhibits the body's ability to process sugar, a new study suggests that coffee doesn't necessarily do harm or good on a diabetic.

The study

The large-scale experiment followed more than 100,000 men and women over the course of 22 years.

"We found that caffeine doesn't make a difference at all," said Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard University and the study's lead author. "Coffee can be beneficial and the caffeine doesn't appear to have a positive or negative effect on diabetes risk."

The results of the study confirmed what medical professionals already know about sugary drinks--they are linked to a higher risk for diabetes. But the study found that when those drinks had caffeine, diabetes risk was about the same. However, the people who didn't drink sugary beverages but consumed coffee had a slightly lower risk for the disease.

Coffee could lower diabetes risk?

People who drank both caffeinated and decaf coffee had a slightly lower risk for diabetes. The risk for female coffee drinkers was about 8 percent lower, and four percent lower for men--regardless of whether it was caffeinated or decaf coffee.

Researchers say the study sheds more light on the role of caffeine and its link to diabetes--a subject that needs more attention, especially given that people who drink sugary beverages might be able to substitute those for coffee and thus lower their risk factors for diabetes and other health conditions.

James Lane of Duke University has done studies on the caffeine-glucose connection.

"Our understanding of the body's tolerance to caffeine is not complete," said Lane.

Source: Fox News

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