Coffee, tea, or… diabetes?

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Dear Pharmacist,

I read your Diabetes Without Drugs book, and I am on Step 3 feeling better, and have lost 18 pounds. I was surprised to see such positive remarks about coffee, you really seem to approve of that for diabetics. Why? Everything I hear is that it’s bad. Thanks, –M.E., Decatur, Illinois

Answer: After years of being blamed for contributing to everything from heart disease to alien abduction episodes, good news is brewing for the vilified coffee bean. I want to state right here, right now, that I think the coffee (and espresso) itself is fine, especially if it’s organically grown, the problem is all the other stuff that goes into making your latte palatable or scrumptious. Therein lies the problem for many people.A recently published Finnish study found that quaffing three to four cups of joe daily can cut one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 27 percent in men and 29 percent in women.

Jolt yourself with seven to nine cups per day, (which I’m not advocating) and you’ll sleep with your eyes wide open. Seriously, 7 – 9 cups, and those percentages increase to 33 and 66 percent respectively!Another study conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia found that a similar daily intake of tea resulted in a 20 percent reduction in the risk for developing diabetes. Now, percolate on this- a very recent Harvard study also found that consuming five cups a day slashed the risk for diabetes. The scientists found that certain compounds could reduce blood levels of a nasty inflammation substance (interleukin-6) by 60 percent. Just FYI, blood vessel inflammation plays some role in the development of coronary heart disease, so this is a very significant finding.

How can this be you ask?  I know, we’ve all heard the litany of dangers associated with coffee consumption: Elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and homocysteine levels (another inflammation mediator), vasoconstriction, jitteriness, and anxiety which sometimes causing one to hallucinate the aforementioned aliens. Well, as it turns out, these are believed to be only short-term effects. Long-term effects are much better. In fact, the study cites that there isn’t a clear long-term impact on blood pressure. And zapping the interleukin-6 and the inflammation it causes may be why the temporary elevations of cholesterol are rendered innocuous, since it’s believed that the only reason cholesterol clings to your artery walls is because of… drum roll… inflammation!

A new study from the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that women who drink four cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of developing depression. A similar study previously done in Finland also correlated caffeine consumption among men with lower incidences of depression and suicide.

Take it leaded like I do, you fellow wild-eyed bean lovers! Decaf coffee does not produce similar results.

Did You Know?

The drug celecoxib is a drug mugger of folic acid, iron, melatonin and zinc.

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=1605296759&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL250 &tag=dearpharmacis 20ir?t=dearpharmacis 20&l=am2&o=1&a=1605296759So if you are interested in learning more about solutions to your diabetes, read my book “Diabetes Without Drugs