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Worried about diabetes? Have another cuppa

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As if they ever needed it, but coffee lovers have been given an additional excuse to indulge in their favourite beverage.

In a result likely to be hailed in coffee shops and offices across the world, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found that drinking an extra cup or two of java each day improves the chances of avoiding type 2 diabetes.

While the association between coffee and tea consumption and a lower type 2 diabetes risk has been known for some time, research by Dr Frank Hu and Dr Shilpa Bhupathiraju was aimed at exploring how change sin consumption might influence that risk.

Drawing on more than 20 years of data from three major studies involving almost 130,000 subjects, the authors documented almost 7270 type 2 diabetes cases.

Of these, they found that subjects who increased their coffee consumption by an average of one-and-a-half cups a day over four years were 11 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the subsequent four years who held their consumption steady, while those who cut their intake by a cup a day or more were at a 17 per cent greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

Changes in tea consumption were not associated with type 2 diabetes risk, and drinking decaffeinated coffee did not change the diabetes risk.

Dr Hu and Dr Bhupathiraju said their findings confirmed prospective studies that had posited an association between increased coffee consumption and reduced type 2 diabetes risk.

The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.

Adrian Rollins

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