Does coffee increase or decrease your risk of prediabetes? What if you added sugar to your morning cup o’ joe? Do your genes matter here?
A study that included almost 8,000 people in South Korea sought to answer this question.[ref]
Coffee, genes, and diabetes:
The study looked at the incidence of either type 2 diabetes or prediabetes in the 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 that 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.
Genetic variants to check:
Interested in how your genetic risk stacks up? Three of the five variants are available in 23andMe or AncestryDNA data.
The researchers found that these variants didn’t have statistical significance on their own, but added together, the variants made a difference.
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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.