Researchers have found that consuming two to three cups of coffee a day could help prevent type 2 diabetes. A new study identified two compounds that provide coffee with this benefit. Researchers are hopeful that the findings may help develop future medications, as well as prevention methods, for type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a result of insulin resistance; in order for the body to overcome this resistance the pancreas begins producing more insulin to compensate. This increase of insulin can lead to serious health problems and raise blood sugar levels. Many lifestyle factors have been identified that contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes, such as being overweight or a poor diet.
In the past, coffee has been shown to help prevent type 2 diabetes, but researchers always believed it had something to do with the caffeine. The latest findings show caffeine only has a temporary effect on insulin and glucose, and decaffeinated coffee can also benefit in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. In order to truly determine the components that give coffee its diabetic benefits, researchers tested the effects of different coffee substances on rat cells.
The researchers tested different coffee compounds and found that cafestol and caffeic acid both increased insulin secretion when glucose was added. Cafestol also increased glucose uptake in muscle cells, matching levels of a commonly prescribed diabetes medication. Cafestol’s benefits make it possible to prevent type 2 diabetes as well as treat it. Unfortunately, much of coffee’s cafestol becomes eliminated through brewing, which leads the researchers to believe that there are other compounds that are at work as well. Further research is required to identify these other compounds and fully understand coffee’s affects.
The findings were published the Journal of Natural Products.