Coffee gets a bad rap sometimes, but this is almost everyone’s drink of choice when they gather together to share information with one another! Don’t underestimate its power in our culture.
While true it can speed your heart rate and increase blood pressure, it still has many medicinal virtues. The coffee bean is technically a berry, as in “coffee berry” and it is a fruit! You can see the beautiful red berry in the graphic I chose. That thought of coffee being a fruit messes with my brain, but not as much as “cat poop coffee” does, which I’ll get to in a minute.
Coffee is the second biggest money-making commodity in the world, behind crude oil. Hawaii is the only state in America that dedicates massive farms to the wonderful bean. California and Puerto Rico can grow it too, however, Hawaii is the main cultivator.
The effect of coffee consumption on glucose metabolism is of interest to many people who feel they’ve lost all their sweet treats in life, and their coffee!
And here’s the good news: Coffee addicts have a lower propensity of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to some interesting studies. We know this. The results of many studies are pretty consistent about this point!
Not all health experts and nutritionists think coffee is good for people with diabetes, however a new Singapore STUDY may be the most conclusive of all. The research was funded by Nestlé Research. You probably recognize this global brand, or its products like Nespresso, Nescafé and Coffee-Mate creamer.
The researchers engaged for this study have shown that drinking coffee creates no detrimental effect on insulin sensitivity, at least over the course of 24 weeks.
This conclusion was derived from a randomized, placebo-controlled study evaluating 126 “overweight, non-insulin sensitive” males and females aged 35 to 69 years old. They gave half the group 4 cups of fake coffee (placebo), and the other half drank 4 cups of instant regular (caffeinated) coffee. Data was collected over 24 weeks (which allows enough time for blood sugar changes to reflect in their A1c). Unfortunately, the A1c was not done, or if it was, the results were not published.
Here’s what the Singapore study revealed:
1. Drinking coffee did not significantly alter insulin sensitivity.
2. No significant changes in FBS (fasting blood sugar) occurred. The FBS is just a snapshot in time. The A1c averages blood sugar over several months and again, this information was not published and I have no idea why!
3. No changes in adiponectin were noted. Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with reduced risk for diabetes. Furthermore, it has a beneficial effect on preventing obesity and other associated complications
4. The coffee drinking participants experienced a “loss of fat mass” which is no surprise because caffeine works as an appetite suppressant, that’s why it is in many weight loss supplements.
5. Some of the coffee drinkers noticed a reduction in creatinine concentration compared to the placebo group. This means it improved kidney function.
Whether or not caffeinated coffee is right for you is hard to say. We are each unique individuals. Remember, coffee is a stimulant and may have some detrimental effects on the heart, blood vessels and adrenal glands.
But if you have longed for a cup of coffee again, and you wholeheartedly believe the scientific data that’s available to us, then definitely chat with your diabetes health expert or nutritionist.
I’m in your head and I’ve thought of this too… it would be very easy to dismiss the results of this study based upon its sponsor (who makes coffee). But don’t be too quick to do that because many other studies have shown similar, positive benefits. I am a fan of coffee myself, and like many other botanical extracts, it has many incredible health benefits, plus it gets my brain in full gear!
The Nestle trial was a larger-scale study than prior ones, and based upon the biomarkers they evaluated, there was no negative impact on insulin sensitivity or any other biomarkers of insulin resistance that they tested.
Here are other purported medical benefits of drinking coffee (in moderation) that other studies have proven:
1. It reduces the perceived feeling of pain, meaning it’s a natural analgesic.
2. Coffee may support liver health and reduce liver enzymes. A few trials have shown its hepatoprotective effect.
3. It acts as a natural stimulant for some adolescents dealing with attention deficit disorders. For more on that read my other article entitled, Caffeine is an Alternative to Stimulants for ADHD.
4. Several studies point to coffee (caffeine) as useful for the prevention of dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s. The mechanism for this is that it helps prevent the build-up of the brain plaque associated with Alzheimer’s.
5. It may offer some protection for Parkinson’s disease. If this topic interests you, I have another informative article I wrote called, “mTOT Drugs May Help Parkinson’s, Lewy Body and Other Dementias.”
6. Coffee is a mood booster. It instantly eases a bad mood for many people, and not only does it help with depression, but it may reduce the risk of suicidal ideation. There was a 10-year long study following about 86,000 nurses and it was revealed that the coffee drinkers were much less likely to inflict self harm. The folks were tracked for 10 years, from 1980 to 1990. These results were published in the 1996 issue Archives of Internal Medicine.
7. Prostate cancer risk may be reduced. If this topic of “prostate” interests you, read my other article called, Fish Oil Supplements and Prostate Cancer.
8. There is about a 20% reduced risk for malignant melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer. The study found that caffeinated coffee was critical for this benefit, and that decaf did not work.
As you can see from the list above, drinking coffee may be a good thing for some people who can tolerate it, but obviously not everyone. A gross fact is that the most expensive coffee brand sold today is that which is derived from cat poop! No lie, it’s called Kopi Luwak and the coffee bean has to be partially digested by cats, and only then can it be cultivated from the cat’s feces. And now a fun fact to help you get that visual out of your head. In ancient times, in what is now known as Turkey, a woman was allowed to divorce her husband if he didn’t provide her with enough coffee! Ha ha lol, only coffee lovers would totally understand that.
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Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.