Friday, 26 March 2010

That Cuppa’s Good For You

Coffee has had its good press and its bad. So has tea, though to a lesser degree.

Should you drink it? How much is too much? Does it do you any good other than give you a perk in the morning and a boost as you work? Is it good for your health?

The news keeps changing, but java fans and teal tipplers will be glad to hear this: A new study has shown that consuming coffee and tea - even decaffeinated versions - could help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The study, which appears in the Archives Of Internal Medicine, is a meta-analysis of 457,922 people in 18 studies published between 1966 and last year that looked at the link between drinking coffee and diabetes risk.

After analysis, the study authors concluded that every extra cup of coffee consumed in one day was correlated with a 7 per cent decrease in the risk of diabetes.

Those who drank three to four cups of coffee or tea a day were associated with a 25 per cent reduced diabetes risk compared to those who drank none to two cups day.

Researchers also saw positive results with decaffeinated coffee and tea. People who drank more than three to four cups of the decaf beverage a day had about a one-third lower risk than those who did not drink any.

Meanwhile, those who drank more than three to four cups of tea a day had about a one-fifth lower diabetes risk than non-drinkers.

As the decreased risk was also seen among those who did not consume caffeine, researchers concluded that caffeine could not be the only key ingredient.

Attention shifted to other chemicals found in the beverages. These included magnesium (shown in studies to reduce diabetes risk), lignans (plant-derived chemical compounds that have antioxidant properties) and chlorogenic acids ( plant-derived antioxidants that slow down glucose release after eating).

Researchers speculated that identifying the components of coffee and tea active in reducing Type 2 diabetes risk could pave the way for new therapies to thereat the disease.

- The New York Times 

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