- New scientific analysis investigates irritation and insulin resistance in habitual coffee drinkers to understand how coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), mediated by inflammatory biomarkers in the body.
- Drinking just one additional cup of coffee per day was associated with a 4-6% lower risk of T2D among participants in two large prospective cohort studies, which was partly explained by lower levels of inflammation.
- Experts consider consuming up to 400mg of caffeine (3-5 cups of coffee) per day to be a moderate and safe amount for most adults. For pregnant or lactating women, caffeine intake should be reduced to 200mg per day.
- These results further support previous research on the association between higher habitual coffee consumption and lower T2D risk, especially among drinkers of filtered or espresso coffee and non-smokers.
A recent study, funded by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), and published in Clinical Nutrition, suggests that coffee consumption may lower the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) mediated by differences in inflammatory biomarkers in the body. The study aimed to uncover the ways in which coffee consumption affects T2D risk and discovered that reduced subclinical inflammation levels may contribute to this relationship.
T2D is partially viewed as an inflammatory condition. Therefore, the study aimed to explore the connection between increased coffee intake and a reduced risk of T2D by examining the impact of coffee on inflammation indicators like C-reactive protein (CRP), which elevates in response to inflammation within the body.
Using data from the UK Biobank (n=145,368) and the Rotterdam Study (n=7,111), researchers confirmed that a one-cup per day increase in coffee consumption was associated with a 4-6% lower risk of T2D. It also predicted further possible favorable impacts such as lower insulin resistance, lower CRP, lower leptin, and higher adiponectin concentrations in cohort participants. Adiponectin is a hormone that regulates glucose and lipid metabolism, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitizing effects, and leptin is a hormone that regulates food intake and energy homeostasis.
A one-cup per-day increase was measured against individuals’ varying daily consumption rather than a set baseline. Daily consumption within the study cohort ranged from 0 to ~6 cups of coffee per day, with findings suggesting benefits from an extra cup per day regardless of whether individuals fell at the lower or higher end of that range.
Data from the UK Biobank cohort also suggested that the manner in which coffee is prepared may impact its health benefits. Filtered or espresso coffee had the strongest beneficial association with lower T2D risk and CRP concentrations, alongside being a non-smoker.
The study is authored by a team led by Dr. Trudy Voortman, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Nutritional Epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, with Dr. Carolina Ochoa-Rosales, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scientist at the same institute, as primary author of the study.
Dr. Voortman commented: “Coffee is one of the most frequently consumed beverages worldwide and its potential health effects trigger significant scientific research. Previous studies have linked higher coffee consumption to a lower risk of developing T2D but underlying mechanisms remained unclear. Our research shows that coffee is associated with differences in the levels of inflammation biomarkers in the body, and as we know that T2D is partly an inflammatory disease, this could be one of the mechanisms at play. These findings could also support future research into the effects of coffee on other inflammation-related chronic diseases.”
The research complements the existing body of evidence on the association between coffee consumption and a lower risk of T2D, which may contribute to the development of guidance on how nutrition and lifestyle changes support reduction strategies for non-communicable diseases like T2D.
Reference: “C-reactive protein partially mediates the inverse association between coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: The UK Biobank and the Rotterdam study cohorts” by Carolina Ochoa-Rosales, Niels van der Schaft, Kim V.E. Braun, Frederick K. Ho, Fanny Petermann-Rocha, Fariba Ahmadizar, Maryam Kavousi, Jill P. Pell, M. Arfan Ikram, Carlos A. Celis-Morales and Trudy Voortman, 7 March 2o23, Clinical Nutrition.
The study was funded by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC).
This research study was first presented at ASN’s Nutrition 2021 Conference and at Epi-Lifestyle Scientific Sessions 2021 organized by the American Heart Association, where it was awarded the Paul Dudley White International Scholar Award 2021.