Another Benefit for Coffee Drinkers

Marni Jameson, down in Orlando. (And I’d urge you to try some Intelligentsia.)

Scientists have long known that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but researchers out of China may have figured out why.

Researchers Ling Zheng, of Wuhan University, and Kun Huang, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, have found that compounds in coffee inhibit hIAPP (human islet amyloid polypeptide), a substance linked to diabetes. Their study appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Prior global epidemiological studies have shown that those who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 50 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent type of diabetes accounting for 95 percent of all cases. Every additional cup reduces the risk by an additional 7 percent.

Scientists looking for ways to prevent diabetes have been investigating ways to block hIAPP, which is present in high levels in the pancreases of those with the disease. Zheng and Huang decided to study whether coffee was doing that.

They analyzed the effects of the major active compounds in coffee, including caffeic acid and caffeine, on hIAPP, and found it inhibited hIAPP significantly. “These findings suggest that the beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes may be partly due to the ability of major coffee components to inhibit the toxic aggression of hIAPP,” the authors concluded.

“A beneficial effect may thus be expected in regular coffee drinkers,” they said.



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  • RJS


  • I drink my coffee black now, but what if you drank those four or five cups with tons of sugar in it? 🙂

  • Phil

    If this is due to the caffeine then tea will also have the beneficial effects. Not clear from reading this if they’re saying these are coffee specific compounds.

  • Win

    4 cups?? Holy smokes. With the diarrhetic effect of coffee that could have severely unfortunate consequences for all of us. 🙂

  • As an avid coffee drinker who was thinking about stopping all together, this article makes me smile. Time for another cup! 🙂

  • Fred

    I’m with Charles. I also ordered some Peets. I’m tired of Folgers. But Win is right, also. Should make for a busy morning.

  • Holly

    Oh, yesssss! 🙂 Confirmation! 🙂

  • MikeK


  • I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life, and I watch ‘Cooking with Paula Dean’.

    I’m a goner.

    (I will, however, eat coffe ice cream…in a pinch)

  • EricW

    @Win 4.:

    “diarrhetic” or “diuretic”?

    I’m familiar with the latter re: coffee, but not the former. 😮

    And… the Clever Coffee Dripper, after you’ve tweaked your technique – grind, amount, water temp – may be the best (and the least expensive) brewing method ever.

    (Be sure to remove the lid before setting it on the cup to drip, or it will create a partial vacuum and stop or severely slow the flow.)

  • Karen Spears Zacharias

    Of course half the people in the study died of caffeine induced heart attacks before the study was completed.