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The Mechanism Behind Coffee's Possible Anti-Diabetic Properties

Numerous studies have recently shown that drinking caffeinated coffee may be linked to reductions in diabetes risk but the specific mechanism behind these findings was not known.

A new study by UCLA researchers may have filled this gap in knowledge. This new study not only provides support to the link between caffeinated coffee and diabetes risk, it also highlights the molecular mechanism behind the benefit.

The study was published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Diabetes.

For the study the researchers selected 359 women with diabetes and matched them with 359 healthy controls of the same age and race.

They found that women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee a day were 56% less likely to develop diabetes compared to non-drinkers. They also found that the coffee drinkers had significantly higher levels of a protein called SHBG, which they believe may help protect against diabetes.

The researchers found no link between non-caffeinated coffee and diabetes risk. Sweetening coffee with sugar also appeared to have no effect on the benefits.

The researchers noted that further studies need to be done that specifically look at SHBG and if it is shown to consistently lower the risk of diabetes it could provide a new mechanism to battle the growing diabetes epidemic.

Research has also shown a potential link between coffee and reductions in the risk of developing prostate cancer, cirrhosis and oral cavities. Over half a dozen different studies have also shown that people who drink coffee regularly are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

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