Poet, T.S. Eliot is purported to have said, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” There is a certain degree of relevance to the quote if one considers that coffee does, in fact, have a definite impact on one’s life and one’s health. It has long been known that coffee offers some health risks, but it has more recently been shown that coffee has some health benefits too. Some studies have determined that coffee can greatly decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in men and women.
Risks and Benefits of Coffee
According to the Mayo Clinic preventative medicine specialist, Dr.Donald Hensrud, coffee has, for some time, been blamed for many health risks. Some of the risks that have been linked with coffee include an increased risk for heart disease and cancer, as well as increased levels of cholesterol.
Dr. Hensrud asserts, however, that recent research has found no obvious connection between coffee drinking and cancer and heart disease. Those studies have shown that anti-oxidant rich coffee does actually have some positive health benefits such as lowered risks for type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.
Diabetes and Coffee
The effects of coffee on the potential risks for developing type 2 diabetes have been studied numerous times. The percentages vary, but the studies have shown that there is a considerably lower risk among coffee drinkers of developing type 2 diabetes. A study done in 2009, that included 40,000 participants, showed that those who consumed at least three cups of coffee or tea daily tended to have a 40% decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Similar studies were published by health care professionals in 2014. Those studies determined that participants who increased coffee consumption experienced an 11% decrease in developing type 2 diabetes over the next four years.
Such findings appear to be particularly true for women according to a study done by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles. The research study compared the health status and coffee-drinking behaviors of 359 diabetic women with those of 359 healthy women. The study was conducted over a 10 year period. The researchers used information from the Women’s Health Study, run by the National Institutes of Health. The research study determined that drinking four cups of coffee a day can reduce a woman’s risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes by over 50%.
The researchers believe that such a link exists because coffee tends to increase the levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in the blood. Such increases in the levels of SHBG are known to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In conclusion, even though such findings give hope for the prevention of diabetes in women and men, health experts still maintain that excesses of anything can be bad, including drinking coffee in excess.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
Picture credit:Bartek Ambrozik