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Decaf best against diabetes

Tuesday December 15th, 2009

People who drink large amounts of coffee and tea seem to gain protection against developing diabetes - especially if the coffee is decaf, researchers said last night.

Coffee beansFour cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as a quarter, researchers found.

And decaffeinated coffee may be even more effective - three or four cups daily was linked to a one third reduced risk.

Drinking tea also helped cut risk but not by so much, the Australian researchers found. Three or four cups cut risk by about 20 per cent.

The findings come from an analysis of 18 pieces of research involving more than 450,000 people.

They come days after a similar analysis found that men who drink coffee, including decaffeinated coffee, enjoy protection against the most serious prostate cancer.

Tea and coffee may help prevent comfort eating and excessive drinking of alcohol or they may stimulate physical activity.

But the researchers say that there is still a strong link when other factors, such as weight, are taken into account.

Dr Rachel Huxley, of the University of Sydney, Australia, reported her findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A European expert, Professor Lars Ryden, from Sweden, of the European Society of Cardiology, says the findings are good news for coffee drinkers.

He added: "Coffee helps, but other things are even more important. Those who are overweight should reduce their bodyweight by five to ten per cent - not too much - and include physical activity such as a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day. Then those people who are at risk of developing diabetes will reduce this risk by 40 to 50 per cent.

"It is interesting to consider why a beverage like coffee has a beneficial effect. It is obviously not the caffeine as decaffeinated coffee has the same efficiency as caffeinated coffee."

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169[22]:2053-2063

Tags: Australia | Diabetes | Diet & Food | Europe

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