How Your Morning Joe Stops Diabetes

Coffee reduces risk of type 2 diabetes because it blocks hIAPP

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) If you are a coffee drinker, then you know how amazing it feels to get that first sip of joe in the morning. What if you found out that coffee can reduce your risk of diabetes? Well, it's true and we may know why.

Drinking coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes because it blocks human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), a substance that has been implicated in causing diabetes.

"Drink coffee to reduce your risk of diabetes."

Past studies have shown that drinking at least four cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 50 percent. Some researchers have found links between hIAPP and the risk of diabetes. Dr. Ling Zheng, of the College of Life Sciences at Wuhan University in China, and colleagues wanted to see if the benefits from drinking coffee are due to substances that inhibit hIAPP.

They found that coffee does block hIAPP. In fact, there are two types of compounds in coffee that block hIAPP.

The study's authors say that coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes because of coffee's effect on hIAPP. They conclude, "A beneficial effect may thus be expected for a regular coffee drinker."

Coffee has three major active components. These include caffeine, caffein acid, and chlorogenic acid.

For their study, Dr. Zheng and colleagues tested the effects of these components the formation of toxic hIAPP amyloids, or proteins.

Using a variety of measurement techniques, the researchers found that all of the components blocked the formation of hIAPP proteins. Caffeic acid was the most powerful blocker of hIAPP formation, while caffeine showed the smallest effect.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for as much as 95 percent of diabetes cases in the world. It is good news that such a common drink can reduce the risk of diabetes. Now that researchers know one reason why coffee reduces that risk, they may be able to further harness the beneficial effects of this delicious beverage.

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Basic Research Program of China, and the Chinese Ministry of Education. The results are published in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 11, 2012
Last Updated:
January 12, 2012