Your morning cup of Joe could lower your chances of developing diabetes. According to a report published by the Institute for Scientific Information of Coffee (ISIC), moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The link between coffee consumption and diabetes first became relevant in 2002. Researchers surveyed a group of 17,111 Dutch adults, and out of this group, 360 were newly diagnosed with type two diabetes. When the researchers followed up with the newly diagnosed patients, they found that individuals who drank at least seven cups of coffee a day were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes when compared to those who drank two cups or fewer. However, the research does not specifically state the time frame between the original meeting and the follow-up with the participants. Nevertheless, the research is strong in relation to coffee consumption and a decrease in type 2 diabetes.

“The research outlined in this report suggests that regular moderate coffee consumption may actually decrease an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” the study's authors write.

According to the study, a person who drinks at least three to four cups of coffee per day has a 25 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who consume less than two cups per day. With each additional cup, a person reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 7-8 percent. There is obviously a limit on this, because too much caffeine could have negative effects as well. The Mayo Clinic suggests that four cups should be the limit. Consuming more than that on a daily basis could lead to side effects such as, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors.

Coffee has been shown to have lots of health benefits ranging from better mental performance to a decrease in heart disease risk. In fact, this report also says that, “drinking coffee does not increase cancer risk in the diabetic population, nor does it cause cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or stroke.” In most cases, caffeine, the ingredient in coffee that provides its stimulating effect, is what offers these health protections. But when it comes to type 2 diabetes, the researchers believe that it is something else. The ISIC team’s research found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the Hawaiian component of the Multiethnic Cohort has recently suggested that regular, not decaffeinated was much more protective against type 2 diabetes. More studies are needed to further prove this theory.

In addition, another study published earlier in 2013 showed that regular but not decaffeinated coffee was much more protective against type 2 diabetes in women of all ethnic groups than in men

Researchers believe that one reason coffee consumption might be responsible for diabetes reduction could relate to the Energy Expenditure Hypothesis, a theory that caffeine stimulates metabolism and increases energy expenditure. For this reason, many weight loss pills include a caffeine component.

While more research is needed to make firm conclusions, it is safe to say that in moderation, coffee might be helpful in preventing type 2 diabetes. It’s great news. After all, more than 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, one of the most significant health issues. The World Health Organization predicts that diabetes will be the leading cause of death in 2030.