Research has revealed that drinking coffee could lead to an “immediate” reduction in the risk of diabetes.
Increasing coffee intake by more than one cup a day has been linked to an 11% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over the next four years.
However, cutting coffee consumption by at least one cup had the opposite effect, raising the diabetes risk by 17%.
The Harvard School of Public Health researchers discovered that people drinking three cups or more were 37% less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those consuming one cup or less.
The study involved some 124,000 men and women, and adds to previous evidence linking coffee with protection from diabetes.
The researchers analysed the results of three large US diet and lifestyle investigations involving health professionals: the Nurses’ Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study II, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
The diets of the participants were assessed every four years by a questionnaire to identify those who developed Type 2 diabetes, with a total of 7,269 cases of diabetes recorded.
The study authors wrote in the journal Diabetologia: “The findings of the current study […] demonstrate that change in coffee consumption is associated with both immediate and long-term diabetes risk.
“Changes in coffee consumption habits appear to affect diabetes risk in a relatively short amount of time.”
Over two million people in the UK have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by the body producing too little insulin or failing to respond to the hormone properly, raising blood sugar levels.