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Regular coffee consumption lowers diabetes risk in women who had diabetes during pregnancy
USA: Greater consumption of caffeinated coffee is linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and a more favorable metabolic profile in females with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a recent study has shown. Current research has found that compared to artificially- and sugar-sweetened drinks, drinking two to five cups of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee a...
USA: Greater consumption of caffeinated coffee is linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and a more favorable metabolic profile in females with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a recent study has shown.
Current research has found that compared to artificially- and sugar-sweetened drinks, drinking two to five cups of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee a day is potentially a healthier substitute in delaying the onset or preventing type 2 diabetes.
This is likely due to the bioactive components in coffee, such as polyphenols, which are naturally-occurring plant micronutrients. Bioactive components are types of chemicals found in small amounts in plants and certain foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains, and may promote good health.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is projected to continue rising, and one in three Singaporeans is at risk of developing diabetes in their lifetime. Several early-life cardiometabolic complications make identifying high-risk populations and application of diabetes preventive strategies paramount.
Among the high-risk groups are women who experienced diabetes during pregnancy, commonly known as gestational diabetes mellitus or gestational diabetes. Compared to the general healthy female population, these women may face a ten-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This common and popular drink appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the general population. However, whether it may also benefit women with gestational diabetes remained unknown.
To investigate this, Professor Cuilin Zhang, Director of the Global Centre for Asian Women's Health (GloW) and a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), with her team at GloW, in collaboration with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), examined the roles of long-term coffee consumption after the complicated pregnancy and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes.
The team further examined coffee consumption with type 2 diabetes by replacing commonly consumed sugary drinks with coffee. Findings from this study, "Habitual coffee consumption and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in individuals with a history of gestational diabetes-a prospective study" was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In their study, the researchers followed over 4,500 predominantly white female participants with a history of gestational diabetes for over 25 years. They examined the associations of long-term coffee consumption with the subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes.
The consumption of caffeinated coffee among women after their pregnancies was discovered to have a linear inverse association with the risk of type 2 diabetes. Compared to those who did not drink caffeinated coffee at all, among those who drank one cup of caffeinated coffee or less, two to three cups, and four and more cups a day, the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced by 10%, 17%, and 53% respectively.
Interestingly, decaffeinated coffee was not associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in their study. However, this null finding might be due to the relatively small number of women who consumed decaffeinated coffee, so the study could not detect a significant association.
More importantly, replacing artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages with caffeinated coffee also reduces the risk by 10% for a cup of artificially sweetened beverage and 17% for a sugar-sweetened one.
"Thus far, the overall findings suggest that caffeinated coffee, when consumed properly (two to five cups per day, without sugar and whole-fat/high-fat dairy), could be incorporated into a relatively healthy lifestyle for a certain population," noted Professor Zhang.
"The beneficial roles of coffee have been consistently suggested across diverse populations, including Asians. Coffee is a popular beverage choice in Singapore. Still, local coffee-drinking culture and behaviours may vary among individuals, such as brewing methods, drinking frequency, and other condiments in the coffee. Thus, more studies are needed to examine the roles of coffee consumption in the local context with major health outcomes," concluded Professor Zhang.
Adding on to Professor Zhang's point, Dr Jiaxi Yang, the first author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow at GloW and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NUS Medicine, said, "Although coffee presents as a potentially healthier alternative to sweetened beverages, the health benefits of coffee vary and much depend on the type and the number of condiments, like sugar and milk, that you add into your coffee." Dr Yang is currently leading the working group of Nutrition and Lifestyle at GloW.
However, concerns should be given when coffee is taken in excessive amounts. It also needs to be emphasised that certain groups should be careful about drinking coffee. Not much is known about the effects of coffee on pregnancies, foetuses and children.
Jiaxi Yang, Deirdre K Tobias, Shanshan Li, Shilpa N Bhupathiraju, Sylvia H Ley, Stefanie N Hinkle, Frank Qian, Zhangling Chen, Yeyi Zhu, Wei Bao, Jorge E Chavarro, Frank B Hu, Cuilin Zhang, Habitual coffee consumption and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in individuals with a history of gestational diabetes – a prospective study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2022;, nqac241, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqac241
Dr Kamal Kant Kohli-MBBS, DTCD- a chest specialist with more than 30 years of practice and a flair for writing clinical articles, Dr Kamal Kant Kohli joined Medical Dialogues as a Chief Editor of Medical News. Besides writing articles, as an editor, he proofreads and verifies all the medical content published on Medical Dialogues including those coming from journals, studies,medical conferences,guidelines etc. Before Joining Medical Dialogues, he has served at important positions in the medical industry in India including as the Hony. Secretary of the Delhi Medical Association as well as the chairman of Anti-Quackery Committee in Delhi and worked with other Medical Councils in India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751