Drinking coffee may help ward off diabetes, according to new research.

Having three to four cups of coffee a day is associated with an approximate 25 percent lower change of developing type 2 diabetes compared to consuming none or less than two cups a day, according to a study highlighted in a session report published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.

Another study published in the report also found that with each additional cup of coffee a day, a person could reduce his or her relative risk of diabetes by up to 8 percent.

While these studies, both of which are epidemiological, suggest a relationship between moderate coffee consumption and reduced risk of developing diabetes, researchers note that they are unable to infer a causal effect.

However, the report noted that there has been clinical evidence that suggests the benefit of coffee consumption. The study had tested glucose and insulin response after an oral glucose tolerance test with 12g decaffeinated coffee, 1g chlorogenic acid, 500 mg trigonelline, or placebo. Researchers had found that compared to the placebo, chlorogenic acid, and trigonelline reduced early glucose and insulin responses, and contributed to the putative beneficial effect of coffee.

Researchers noted that the link between coffee consumption and reduced type 2 diabetes could be seen as counter intuitive because drinking coffee is often associated with unhealthy habits like smoking and low levels of physical activity.

Researchers said that the "Energy Expenditure Hypothesis" and the "Carbohydrate Metabolic Hypothesis" could explain the link between coffee consumption and the lower diabetes risk.

The "Energy Expenditure Hypothesis" suggests that the caffeine in coffee stimulates metabolism and increases energy expenditure and the "Carbohydrate Metabolic Hypothesis" suggests that the components that make up coffee play a key role in influencing the body's glucose balance.

Other theories have suggested that coffee contains components that may improve insulin sensitivity through mechanisms like modulating inflammatory pathways, mediating the oxidative stress of cells, hormonal effects or by reducing iron stores.

"A dose-dependent inverse association between coffee drinking and total mortality has been demonstrated in general population and it persists among diabetics," Dr. Pilar Riobó Serván, Associate Chief of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Jiménez Díaz-Capio Hospital of Madrid said in a statement.

"Although more research on the effect of coffee in health is yet needed, current information suggests that coffee is not as bad as previously considered!" he concluded.