Drink away diabetes...with coffee

Drinking coffee can substantially reduce the risk of developing diabetes, scientists have discovered. A major study involving more than 14,000 people in Finland, which has the highest rate of coffee consumption in the world, has revealed that those who drink most have the lowest incidence of adult-onset or type 2 diabetes.

When people drank three to four cups of coffee a day, their risk of developing diabetes fell by 29 per cent for women and 27 per cent for men. "Coffeeholics" who drank very large amounts of coffee — ten or more cups a day — were even less likely to suffer from the disease: such high consumption reduced the risk by 79 per cent for women and 55 per cent for men, inform &to=http://www.timesonline.co.uk' target=_blank>Timesonline.co.uk

That essential morning coffee, and the lattes that follow, may be just what the doctor ordered: Coffee could help ward off adult onset diabetes, says Finland's National Public Health Institute. Coffee's apparent protective effect, the mechanism of which remains a mystery, increased with consumption.

Finns average about nine cups daily but Diabetes Australia is reluctant to encourage fanatics to hit the lattes and short blacks. Although there was little evidence to suggest coffee was a major health risk, a good diet and exercise remained the best in the defence against diabetes, said Diabetes Australia's research and development manager, Alan Barclay. "I think it is just too early for us to tell people to start drinking coffee to reduce the risks of developing Type II diabetes," he said.

In January Harvard researchers said a look at 125,000 people found men who drank six cups a day cut their diabetes risk by half over 12 to 18 years, while women who drank that amount had a 30 per cent lowered risk. A recent Dutch study found similar effects, report &to=http://www.smh.com.au' target=_blank>SMH.com.au

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