Sugar, tea, coffee affects risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus

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By Jimmy Downs

Thursday Jan 17, 2013 (foodocnsumer.org) -- A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consumption of sugar and artificial sweeteners in beverages increases risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus while drinking coffee and tea may reduce the risk.  

Dr. Frank Hu from Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, USA and colleagues conducted the study and found the associations between intakes of sugar, tea and coffee and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
 
The study was based on two sets of data from 74,749 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS, 1984–2008) and 39,059 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS, 1986–2008). All participants were free of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline.

In the NHS, 7,370 incident cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus were identified during 24 years of follow-up and in the HPFS, 2,865 cases were recorded during a 22-year follow-up.

After adjustment for major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, intake of both caffeinated and caffeine-free sugar sweetened beverages was significantly associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the NHS. One serving of caffeinated sugar sweetened beverages was linked to 13% increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus.  In comparison, one serving of caffeine-free sugar sweetened beverages was linked to 11% increased risk.

Caffeine-free artificially-sweetened beverages were also associated with higher risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Specifically, one serving was linked to 6% increased risk.

Consumption of coffee, caffeinated or decaffeinated, was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.  Specifically, one serving of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee in the NHS was associated with 8% reduced risk.  In the HPFS, the risk reduced was found to be 4% for caffeinated coffee and 7% for decaffeinated coffee.  

But only caffeinated tea was found associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in participants in the NHS.

The researchers concluded "Irrespective of the caffeine content, SSB (sugar sweetened beverages) intake was associated with a higher risk of T2D (type 2 diabetes mellitus), and coffee intake was associated with a lower risk of T2D."

Coffee and tea reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus likely because it impairs the absorption of sugar or postprandial glycemic control.

An estimated 25 million American live with type 2 diabetes mellitus.   Doctors say there is no cure for diabetes, but the condition can be controlled by taking medications such as insulin therapy.   However, evidence suggests that type 2 diabetes mellitus is a disorder caused by an inadequate diet and it can be easily avoided by following a healthy diet.  

Studies have shown that cinnamon and curcumin, bitter melon are all very effective in preventing type 2 diabetes melllitus.  High sugar and high fat diets are risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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