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Apr 25, 2014 05:41 AM EDT

Increased Coffee Consumption Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk by 11 Percent, Study

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Increasing coffee consumption by one and a half cups daily reduces the occurrence of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent, according to a Harvard University study.

Previous studies have already shown the benefits of coffee on diabetes. This study claims that the risk of diabetes can be further curtailed by boosting coffee consumption.

For the study, researchers examined the link between quantity of coffee and diabetes risk. They examined data from three US-based studies and information on diet, lifestyle, medical conditions, and other chronic diseases was collected every two to four years for over 20 years.

Participants who reduced their coffee consumption by one or more cups a day had a 17 percent increase in diabetes risk. Alternatively, reduced diabetes risk was observed in participants who drank three or more cups of coffee per day which was 37 percent lower than those who consumed one cup or less per day.

Decaffeinated coffee is already known to cut type 2 diabetes risks. By stepping up decaffeinated coffee consumption, researchers did not discover any further significant reduction in the risk. At the same time, altering tea consumption was not linked to lowering type 2 diabetes risk.

"Changes in consumption habits appear to affect diabetes risk in a relatively short amount of time. Our findings...provide novel evidence that changes in habits are related to diabetes risk," Dr Frank Hu, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, said in a press release.

The finding is published in Diabetologia.

Dr Richard Elliott, Research Communications Officer at Diabetes UK, said that even though the researchers might have established a relationship between coffee consumption and Type 2 diabetes risk, it does not necessarily suggest that increasing coffee intake will cut down diabetes risk.

"Even if people who drank more coffee did tend to have a lower risk of Type 2, it does not necessarily follow that coffee consumption was directly responsible. Other factors that this study has not identified could also be involved and it is even possible that being at high risk of Type 2 diabetes encourages people to reduce their coffee intake," Elliott said,Independent reports.

Elliot said that adopting a healthy balanced diet and physical activity can help in decreasing type 2 diabetes risk.

A European Science Foundation study in 2012 found that moderate coffee drinking diminished the risk of diabetes by 25 percent.

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