Coffee: Can it Prevent Diabetes?


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Before I entered college I wasn’t a coffee drinker. As refreshing as an ice coffee looks it never satisfied my tastebuds. Frankly, I never understood the huge craze for coffee and why people would wait on an extensive line and pay the price for that inconsequential cup of coffee each and everyday . After a few long, rough weeks in college I realized it provides my body with many beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and the hormone adiponectin which actually benefit my health in the long run and can prevent me from diseases like diabetes.

So what even is diabetes? Type 2 Diabetes is a widespread disease that over 29 million people are diagnosed with. Diabetes influences the production of glucose within the body because the cells don’t allow glucose to enter into the body. These people with diabetes have an insulin deficiency and their bodies don’t produce and absorb the correct amount of sugar for their body. Insulin, is a hormone which regulates how much sugar can be absorbed  by the body are affected. If there isnt enough sugar or too much inside the body, the central nervous system is weakened because the brain and muscles don’t have enough energy to properly function. Diabetes is extremely dangerous because it can lead to future problems like kidney failure, heart failure and strokes.                                                                                                                        

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A longitudinal observational study  produced by the American Diabetes Association completed a study testing whether increasing the amount of coffee drank by women will reduce the risk of developing diabetes. 88,259 women who didn’t have diabetes, whose ages ranged from 24 to 46 were tested in order to see if the intake of coffee would actually lead to less of a chance of getting diabetes. This observational study included a large sample size, and a high follow up rate on the patients for 10 years. The factors make this study extremely accurate and cancel out a great deal of bias that could have been associated with this type of study.  The null hypothesis was there is no relationship between coffee and chances of getting diabetes. The alternative hypothesis which was there is a correlation between coffee and diabetes and when coffee is consumed the chances would be lowered. The study did have third confounding variables that could have potentially caused a relationship between coffee and diabetes. For example, body mass index, genetics, and smoking and the consumption of alcohol. After the data was analyzed, the results illustrated that the more cups of black coffee a women drinks, they will have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk (exposure x hazard) when a women drinks one coffee is .87, then reduces to .58 after 2-3 cups and then drops to .53 when 4 cups of coffee are drank opposed to non-coffee drinkers. The explantation for these statistics is the more coffee consumed, the better glucose tolerance a person has. These people have a blood glucose level usually under 140mg/dL opposed around 200mg/dL for people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

In the Diabetologia, a study published in 2014 by Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, she tested the subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women after the consumption of coffee. 48,464 women and 27,759 men were tested over a 4 year period. Patients who increased the amount of coffee they drank per day by one cup reduced their risk by 11 percent but those who decreased coffee intake by a cup a day actually increased their relative risk to develop diabetes by 17 percent.  The recent question “does coffee reduce risk of developing diabetes” has been ongoing and doesn’t  fit under the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy or the File Drawer Problem because no data is being ignored or hidden and there are no false conclusions being taken on this topic because there are over 28 published studies on whether coffee has an effect on diabetes.

If someone is looking to make a lifestyle change in order to try and prevent type 2 diabetes they must live a healthier lifestyle and cut back on unhealthy eating and drinking. Increasing their coffee intake could reduce their risk of having diabetes. It is important to drink black coffee because it is healthier and works more efficiently opposed to coffee with sweetener and sugar. Patients who have type 2 diabetes have a greater amount of serum amyloid which is an inflammatory within the blood. Coffee drinkers have less serum amyloid in their blood which explains how coffee can reduce ones risk of obtaining type 2 diabetes.

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