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Decrease your diabetes risk with coffee?

Does coffee increase or decrease your risk of prediabetes? What if you added sugar to your morning cup o’ joe? Genes matter here, and a study that included almost 8,000 people in South Korea explains.[ref]

Coffee, genes, and diabetes:

The study looked at the incidence of either type 2 diabetes or prediabetes in participants over the course of 12 years. Researchers found that almost 12% of the participants were diagnosed with diabetes, and over 60% became prediabetic during that time.

Overall, consuming 2 or more cups of coffee each day decreased the risk of diabetes or prediabetes.

Surprisingly, even drinking sugar-sweetened coffee reduced the risk of diabetes/prediabetes, but the risk reduction was not quite as much as in the black coffee group.

The decrease in risk varied quite a bit, depending on which genetic variants a person carried. Some people had a 13% risk reduction, while others had up to a 64% risk reduction.

The researchers used a genetic risk score based on 5 genetic variants (SNPs). People with a higher number of variant alleles had the greatest decrease in the risk of diabetes.

Coffee and Diabetes Risk Genotype Report:

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Caffeine vs. polyphenols in coffee:

Is it the caffeine in coffee that decreases diabetes risk? A meta-analysis that combined information for over 1,000,000 study participants found that both decaffeinated and regular coffee decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes. The greater number of cups of coffee correlated to a greater decrease in diabetes risk.[ref]

The main polyphenol in coffee is chlorogenic acid, which inhibits glucose-5-phosphatase production in the liver. This may cause decreased glucose output by the liver, thus reducing blood glucose levels.[ref][ref]

Other ways to decrease blood glucose levels:

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About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering and also an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.

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