Researchers wanted to see if coffee drinkers were avoiding Type 2 diabetes because of the caffeine intake or for other reasons.
Making coffee a part of your daily grind can be beneficial to your health.
A new study published in the journal BMJ Medicine suggests that drinking coffee regularly could reduce body fat and lower the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers wanted to see if coffee drinkers were safe from Type 2 diabetes because of their caffeine intake or for other reasons, such as being middle-class and being able to afford a healthier lifestyle.
This study looked at nearly 10,000 people with genetic traits — such as the CYP1A2 and AHR genes — that affect how the body handles caffeine intake by using a statistical technique called Mendelian randomization, which is a tool that investigates a relationship between a trait and an outcome.
People with these genetic variants are associated with processing and metabolizing caffeine slower and typically drink less coffee yet have high levels of caffeine in their blood.
The same group of people was found to have a lower body mass index, body fat mass, and risk of Type 2 diabetes, evidently pointing to caffeine as being the reason.
About half of the same group of people’s lower risk of Type 2 diabetes was due to them having a lower BMI.
Some evidence suggests that caffeine allows the body to burn more fat and/or makes people feel more full causing them to eat less, and being thinner reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
About 1 in 10 Americans are affected by diabetes, and about 90% to 95% of them have Type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC. Type 2 diabetes most often affects people over the age of 45.
“These results suggest caffeine may be linked to a lower body mass index, lower body fat and a reduced likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Dipender Gill, senior author of the study from Imperial College London, said. “It may improve people’s metabolism, although this doesn’t mean people should go out and drink lots of high-calorie caffeinated drinks like chai lattes.”
An average cup of coffee has about 70 to 150 milligrams of caffeine, and evidence shows that 100 milligrams per day can increase energy expenditure by about 100 calories per day. But coffee also has other chemicals such as diterpenes which could be detrimental to one’s metabolism.
The research also found that those with higher levels of caffeine in their blood were no less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease and irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation).
“If there is more evidence from larger trials in the future, it may suggest that people should consider drinking espressos or black coffee to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes,” Gill said.