The results of two studies indicate that coffee drinking reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In the most recent publication, coffee intake, especially decaffeinated, was inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study was conducted in a group of more than 28,000 postmenopausal women, with no evidence of diabetes or heart disease at the start of the study, who were followed for 11 years. When compared with women who did not drink coffee, those who consumed 6 or more cups per day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes.

These results support an earlier study of more than 17,000 Dutch men and women where those who drank at least 7 cups of coffee each day had half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who drank 2 cups per day.

Let’s place these results in perspective. Six cups of coffee is a lot of coffee. Coffee drinking is also associated with higher cholesterol levels, increased risk of heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

As an alternative, walking briskly for 30 minutes five times a week can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by half. In addition, eating smaller, more frequent meals, with emphasis on foods that break down slowly, also slows the progression to diabetes.

Illustration: Just Coffee

7/9/06 22:24 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.