Coffee reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 60 per cent – but only filtered coffee, rather than boiled coffee, according to new research from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
Many previous studies have shown a connection between high coffee intake and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Swedish study offers new insight into this connection, using a novel method to help differentiate between the effects of filtered coffee and boiled coffee.
Rikard Landberg, a professor in Food Science who worked on the study, said: “We have identified specific molecules – ‘biomarkers’ – in the blood of those taking part in the study, which indicate the intake of different sorts of coffee. These biomarkers are then used for analysis when calculating type 2 diabetes risk. Our results now clearly show that filtered coffee has a positive effect in terms of reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But boiled coffee does not have this effect”
With the use of these biomarkers, the researchers were able to show that people who drank two to three cups of filtered coffee a day had a 60 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who drank less than one cup of filtered coffee a day. Consumption of boiled coffee had no effect on the diabetes risk in the study.
All the data used in the research came from a group of Swedish subjects and was collected in the early 1990s. According to Landberg, many people wrongly believe that coffee has only negative effects on health. This could be because previous studies have shown that boiled coffee increases the risk of heart and vascular diseases, due to the presence of diterpenes, a type of molecule found in boiled coffee.
“But it has been shown that when you filter coffee, the diterpenes are captured in the filter. As a result, you get the health benefits of the many other molecules present, such as different phenolic substances. In moderate amounts, caffeine also has positive health effects,” he says.