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How Does Coffee Affect Blood Sugar and Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a massive health problem worldwide.

About 29 million people, or 9% of all US adults, had type 2 diabetes in the year 2012.

Interestingly, long-term studies have linked coffee drinking with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Yet, oddly enough, many short-term studies have shown that coffee and caffeine can raise blood sugar and insulin levels.

Why this happens is not fully known, but there are several theories.

This article examines the short-term and long-term effects of coffee on blood sugar and diabetes.

Coffee and Caffeine May Raise Blood Sugar

A major paradox exists between the long-term and short-term effects of coffee.

Short-term studies have linked caffeine and coffee consumption with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

A recent study showed that a single serving of coffee, containing 100 mg of caffeine, can negatively affect blood sugar control in healthy but overweight men.

Other short-term studies — both in healthy individuals and in type 2 diabetics — show that consuming caffeinated coffee impaired blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity after meals.

This does not happen with decaf coffee, which suggests that caffeine may be the agent that causes the spike in blood sugar. In fact, most of the studies on caffeine and blood sugar look at caffeine directly, not coffee.

Some studies have tried to address this issue, showing that the effects of caffeine and regular coffee are not the same.

Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The health benefits of drinking coffee are well-documented.

In observational studies, coffee is linked to reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, which are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, consuming regular or decaf coffee on a regular basis is linked to a 23–50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Studies have also shown that each daily cup of coffee you consume may reduce this risk by 4–8%.

Additionally, people who drink 4–6 cups of coffee each day have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than people who drink less than 2 cups each day