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Cutting Coffee Consumption May Up Diabetes Risk

Update Date: Apr 24, 2014 10:47 PM EDT

Besides preventing cancer, heart conditions and obesity, new research reveals that your morning java might also lower your type 2 diabetes risk.

Researchers found that people who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over four years were 11 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who made no changes.

Furthermore, researchers found that people who decreased their coffee consumption by more than a cup per day increased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 17 percent.

"Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk," lead author Shilpa Bhupathiraju, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, said in a news release. "Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time."

The latest study involved data from 48,464 women in the Brigham and Women's Hospital-based Nurses' Health Study (1986-2006), 47,510 women in Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2007), and 27,759 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2006).

After analyzing participants' consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee as well as caffeinated tea, researchers found that people who increased their coffee consumption by more than a cup daily over a four-year period had a 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the following four years compared to those who made no changes in consumption. However, those who reduced their coffee intake by more than a cup were 17 percent more likely to develop diabetes. Researchers found no changes in diabetes risk for decaffeinated coffee consumption or caffeinated tea consumption. Researchers defined a cup of coffee as eight ounces, black, or with a small amount of milk and/or sugar.

"These findings further demonstrate that, for most people, coffee may have health benefits," said Frank Hu, senior author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, according to a university release. "But coffee is only one of many factors that influence diabetes risk. More importantly, individuals should watch their weight and be physically active."

The findings were published April 2014 in Diabetologia.

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