Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coffee and tea reduce risk of diabetes

Drinking coffee and tea can reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, research has suggested.

People who drink more coffee and tea get protection against the disease, which is often caused by being overweight.

Researchers in Australia found people who drink three to four cups of coffee a day had a 25 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who drank none or only one or two cups a day.

The effect is not due to caffeine as those who drank decaffeinated coffee showed similar results.

Tea drinkers also showed some protective effects with those who drank more than three to four cups of tea a day were at a one fifth lower risk of developing the disease.

The analysis of 18 previous studies involving a total of almost 450,000 people, is published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. The effects remained even when the researchers took into account other factors that can cause diabetes.

It is thought compounds in coffee and tea including magnesium and antioxidants may be involved.

Lead author Rachel Huxley, of The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia, wrote: “If such beneficial effects were observed in interventional trials to be real, the implications for the millions of individuals who have diabetes mellitus, or who are at future risk of developing it, would be substantial.

“For example, the identification of the active components of these beverages would open up new therapeutic pathways for the primary prevention of diabetes mellitus. It could also be envisaged that we will advise our patients most at risk for diabetes mellitus to increase their consumption of tea and coffee in addition to increasing their levels of physical activity and weight loss.”

Dr Carrie Ruxton, nutritionist and scientific advisor to the Tea Advisory Panel, said: "If tea proves to be beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of diabetes, this is very good news for the large number of people in the UK who enjoy drinking black tea. "Moreover, drinking three to four cups of tea a day or more is likely to produce health benefit, not only in relation to diabetes, but also for heart health.”
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