Study: Caffeine may not impact diabetes risk

November 26, 2012

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk for type2 diabetes, irrespective of caffeine content. The study also shows that coffee consumption lowered the risk for type2 diabetes.

The researchers observed 74,749 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS, 1984–2008) and 39,059 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS, 1986–2008) who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer at baseline. Compared to people who didn’t consume sugary drinks, the likelihood of developing diabetes over the years for those who did was higher by 13% for caffeinated sugary drinks and 11% for decaffeinated among women, and by 16% and 23% among men, respectively. Caffeine-free artificially sweetened drinks were also linked to a 6% increase in risk among women.

However, coffee drinkers showed slightly lower risks compared to non-drinkers. The chances of developing diabetes were 8% lower among women, whether they drank decaf or regular coffee, and for men, 4% lower with regular coffee and 7% lower with decaf.

“We found that caffeine doesn’t make a difference at all,” said lead author Frank Hu of Harvard University. “Coffee can be beneficial and the caffeine doesn’t appear to have a positive or negative effect on diabetes risk.”