Your Coffee Habit May Protect Against Diabetes – Study
Coffee lovers will be pleased to hear their daily caffeine habit is not just a delicious way of helping them to wake up and stay alert in the office. It may be giving them some protection from the disease of diabetes, and scientists have recently made some progress in finding out why.
Medical science has known for a long time that drinking coffee lowers the drinker’s risk of getting type 2 diabetes, the kind that typically occurs in later life and is associated with poor diet and obesity. Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90% of diabetes cases, and doctors know lifestyle is the single most important cause of this disease.
Yet coffee drinkers who enjoy four to five cups a day decrease their diabetes risk by 50% and each extra cup lowers it still further by almost 7%. At least 18 previous studies have linked tea and coffee drinking with a lowered risk of diabetes.
Coffee is not always seen as a healthy habit; it can raise blood pressure, discolors the teeth, dehydrates the drinker, and can put a strain on the kidneys if you overindulge. In addition, as all coffee drinkers know, taking too much can lead to coffee “jags”, with headache, trembling hands, bad breath, and hyperactivity. Yet many people need it to get them out of bed in the mornings and stay awake and efficient through the day. They also love the taste and the aroma as the coffee is prepared; in fact, coffee drinking may even be a mild addiction. In addition, recent studies have shown that both tea and coffee can have a beneficial effect on the heart and even protect against some cancers.
Now a team of Chinese scientists thinks they have found out why coffee is linked to a lowered risk of diabetes, a potentially serious disease that affects 346 million people across the world, of which 26 million are in the US.
Recent research has implicated a polypeptide called hIAPP (human islet amyloid polypeptide). They believe hIAPP can become disrupted and cause diabetes, and some research has been conducted into the possibility of blocking this process.
The Chinese scientists, led by doctors Kun Huang and Ling Zheng, decided to look into whether chemical components in coffee protected against diabetes by blocking the action of hIAPP. Moreover, they found two kinds of compound in the drink that did just that.
The results are good news for coffee lovers, especially as the implication is that the more coffee you drink the less risk you run of getting type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is on the increase in almost all countries as 21st century lifestyles impact on health. It is associated with serious and potentially deadly side effects such as heart disease, kidney failure, and strokes, along with less fatal but still unpleasant symptoms like blindness and nerve damage, which can lead to amputation of the extremities.
If you are worried about diabetes, a simple test at your doctor’s office can set your mind at rest. Symptoms to look out for include fatigue, constant thirst and peeing, unusual hunger, blurred vision and recurring infections that are slow to get better.
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