While too much caffeine from coffee may cause unpleasant side effects such as anxiety or insomnia, that doesn’t mean you should cut your caffeine habit entirely. This is especially true for people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care journal.
In the study, a team of Japanese researchers focused on the potential protective effects of two caffeinated beverages: coffee and green tea. The study featured 4,923 patients with type 2 diabetes, all of whom were 66 years old on average and were studied over the course of five years. Each day, participants filled out a questionnaire detailing their food and drink habits, including how much coffee and green tea they drank each day. Other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, exercise, alcohol consumption, and sleep quality, were also taken into account.
309 people passed away during the course of the study, primarily from cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, the study did find that the patients who drank either coffee, green tea, or both were less likely to die from diabetes risk factors (circulatory diseases, dementia, cancer, and bone fractures).
So, how much should you drink per day to benefit from the protective effects of these caffeinated beverages? Coffee drinkers lower their risk of death by 12 percent (up to one cup per day), 19 percent (two to three cups), and 41 percent (four cups or more). On the other hand, green tea drinkers lowered their risk by 15 percent, 27 percent, and 40 percent respectively.
Participants who drank both coffee and green tea were even more protected from diabetes risk factors, according to the findings. Drinking four or more cups of green tea each day and two or more cups of coffee were associated with a 63 percent lower risk of death!
It’s important to keep in mind that this study is entirely observational, meaning it’s not exactly clear why these caffeinated beverages lower the risk of death in type 2 diabetes patients. What we do know, however, is that coffee and green tea do contain potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants which may potentially play a role in these findings, or at the very least, in promoting overall health. This is great news for us writers here at the Optimist Daily – we love us some sencha and joe!
Source study: BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care – Additive effects of green tea and coffee on all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry