Drinking Coffee Lowers Genetic Risk of Diabetes and Prediabetes

Benefits to drinking coffee

A new study published in the journal Nutrients examines the connection between the genetic risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and habitual coffee consumption.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions around the world, and the numbers keep growing.

It’s a lifelong disease that must be managed, and it causes symptoms like increased thirst and hunger, fatigue, frequent urination, and weight loss, among others.

Coffee consumption has often been suggested to lower the risk of some chronic diseases like heart disease, liver disorders, and type 2 diabetes.

These effects of coffee are mainly due to its high content of antioxidants, as well as other bioactive compounds, like caffeine and chlorogenic acids.

What’s Important

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body doesn’t respond to insulin anymore, or when the pancreas stops producing it.

The causes are mainly thought to be environmental and lifestyle factors, as well as genetics - some people are more prone than others.

It was previously established that the health benefits of coffee consumption may be impacted by genetic predispositions. [1]

The caffeine present in coffee is known to have a stimulative effect on the metabolic rate of the body, while the antioxidants inhibit the oxidative stress caused by elevated blood sugar.

Because it’s been established that coffee consumption can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, it’s also important to examine its connection to predisposed genetic risk.

What Are the Results?

The study lasted for 12 years and it involved following the effect of habitual coffee consumption on genetic changes.

The participants underwent genotyping at every follow-up, as well as assessments regarding dietary and lifestyle habits, disease history, and physical activity. 

They were also asked to provide information on how often and how much they consume coffee. The amount of sugar added, if any, was also taken into consideration.

The results indicated the following:

  • Coffee consumption with or without sugar decreased the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes for the participants who consumed more than 2 cups a day.
  • But, participants who consumed less than 2 cups of coffee with sugar a day had an increased risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes; however, this only applied to men, not women.
  • Among participants with genetic variations associated with type 2 diabetes and blood sugar levels, coffee consumption without sugar lowered the risk of diabetes, compared to coffee with sugar.
  • Bottom Line

    Even though more evidence is needed, these results indicate that a little coffee is better than no coffee and that the link between this beverage and the genetic risk of diabetes does exist.

    Resource: Jin, T.; Youn, J.; Kim, A.N.; Kang, M.; Kim, K.; Sung, J.; Lee, J.E. Interactions of Habitual Coffee Consumption by Genetic Polymorphisms with the Risk of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Combined. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2228. doi: 

    Shop the Products