For many people, drinking coffee every day is one of life’s pleasures. For some, it is a habitual essential. After water, it is the second most-consumed drink in the world. Yet despite a multitude of studies over several decades examining coffee consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research has produced mixed findings.
In a recent review article published in the Journal of Public Health, Muneera Q Al-Mssallem from the Nutritional Sciences Department of King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia concluded that ultimately, like many things, it appears coffee consumption is safe in moderation, but risky when consumption is heavy.
Daily caffeine consumption increases metabolic rate and energy expenditure, positive effects for health and well-being. In addition, the chlorogenic acids present in coffee have positive effects on the amount of glucose absorbed and plasma glucose concentration. When coffee is consumed regularly over the long term, these acids delay glucose absorption.
Conversely, too much coffee entering the body can impair glucose tolerance and decrease insulin sensitivity, because caffeine can inhibit muscle glucose update, leading to an increased risk of developing T2DM.
The review concludes that moderate coffee consumption (3-4 cups per day*) may be beneficial for overall health and well-being, but that greater coffee intake may be detrimental to an individual’s health and increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
*NB this article refers to drinking black coffee, without the addition of sugar, milk, cream or other additives.