Sunday, September 10, 2017 by Frances Bloomfield
Your morning cup of coffee could be doing more than just waking you up. A team of Danish scientists have put out a study claiming that four cups of coffee a day can cut down your risk of type-2 diabetes by as much as 25 percent. Although this benefit is only applicable to unfiltered coffee — e.g. espressos, decaffeinated coffee, and cafetieres — it adds to the mounting evidence that coffee truly is good for the health.
According to ScienceDaily.com, caffeine was initially believed to be the substance that produced this beneficial effect, but later studies found otherwise. One such study was conducted by the team behind these findings: the researchers discovered that a coffee compound called cafestol encouraged pancreatic cells to secret more insulin when exposed to blood sugar or glucose. Going off on this, the researchers tested the possible impact that cafestol would have on type-2 diabetes in mice.
To accomplish that, they utilized mice who were genetically-engineered to become prone to type-2 diabetes. These mice were split into three groups: two groups were given varying doses of cafestol (1.1 mg for one group and 0.4 mg for another), while the last group served as the control group and received none.
After 10 weeks had passed, the two groups of cafestol-fed mice had reduced blood sugar levels within the 28 to 30 percent range. Moreover, insulin sensitivity improved in the high-dosage or 1.1 mg group by 42 percent.
Lead author and researcher Fredrik Brustad Mellbye noted that his team’s study “adds further knowledge about mechanisms of action of bioactive substances in coffee.” Mellbye has also called cafestol a “good candidate” for future medication that could be used to treat or prevent type-2 diabetes. Unlike other anti-diabetic medicines, cafestol was not observed to induce hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. (Related: Daily coffee consumption lowers diabetes risk.)
A separate published in June of this year suggested one more advantage of drinking four cups of coffee a day. Researchers from the Netherlands claimed that four cups of coffee or one cup of tea a day can help prevent liver scarring that can in turn lead to liver cirrhosis. While the exact mechanism behind remains unknown, the researchers believe that it may be due to antioxidant compounds entering the bloodstream and protecting the liver.
For their study, the researchers enlisted the aid of volunteers who gave blood samples and went through liver imaging procedures. The volunteers then answered questionnaires about how frequently they consumed particular drinks and beverages, such as tea and coffee. Tea consumption was divided into four groups (herbal, green, black, and none), while coffee consumption was segregated into three categories (none, moderate or three cups, and frequent or four cups).
Those who drank coffee frequently had decreased risk of liver stiffness, one of the factors that can result in liver scarring. The same effect was found in herbal tea consumption. Furthermore, the researchers found that coffee drinking seemed to reduce liver stiffness in patients diagnosed with non-alcohol fatty liver disease.
Healthy adults can drink as much as 400 mg of caffeine or four cups of coffee a day without issue. Going beyond that can be detrimental to one’s health, but as long as you don’t go above this number on a regular basis then you need not worry about side effects too much. Overdosing on caffeine can result in feelings of restlessness, irritability, tremors, dizziness, and an upset stomach. Individuals who experience these symptoms are recommended to cut down on their caffeine intake or check with a medical professional to see if they have caffeine sensitivity.
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