By: Korey DiRoma, ND
Coffee has been found to have many health benefits that include a decrease risk of Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, colon cancer, and liver cirrhosis. Coffee can also improve exercise and athletic performance and is often used to prevent headaches. Now there is increasing evidence that coffee consumption can decrease risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
A recent study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry demonstrated in mice that coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Mice were fed either water or coffee, and scientists found that mice drinking coffee prevented the development of high blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity. It is thought that this is mostly due to the caffeine content in coffee, but it is not exactly known. In another study, those drinking decaf coffee still had lower risk of developing diabetes, but by only half as much as those drinking the caffeinated versions.
Most of the health benefits from coffee come from caffeine. But coffee also contains large amounts of antioxidants. These antioxidants are more beneficial for heart health and cancer prevention.
Too much coffee can lead to jitteriness, nervousness, heart palpitations, and insomnia, and some are more affected by caffeine than others. Drinking unfiltered coffee, as with French press or espresso drinks, can raise cholesterol levels, specifically LDL levels. Caffeine can also raise blood pressure. Caffeine also inhibits anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH, which causes an increase in urination. If drinking coffee, increase the amount of your daily water intake. Most studies use black coffee, and health benefits are diminished when adding milk and sugar or drinking sweetened espresso drinks.