University of Minnesota researchers say they've determined drinking decaffeinated coffee may lower a person's risk for type 2 diabetes.
The study shows postmenopausal women who daily consume more than six cups of coffee -- particularly decaffeinated -- have a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than do women who do not drink coffee.
"The risk reduction associated with coffee is independent of factors such as weight and physical activity," said Professor Mark Pereira, lead author of the study. "There appears to be great potential for coffee to help reduce the risk of diabetes. Identifying the mechanism responsible for this should definitely be the subject of further research."
Coffee is known to contain minerals and antioxidants that may aid in carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity and possibly delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Overall caffeine intake did not appear to be related to diabetes risk in the study, further suggesting that another ingredient was responsible for the reduction.
More than 20 million Americans have diabetes, with 6.2 million of those cases being undiagnosed.
The research is reported in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Why coffee drinking reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes