We all love a good cup of joe. But is coffee ok to drink if you’re living with diabetes?

The effects of caffeine can work wonders in the morning; this “miracle bean” gives us a jolt of energy to keep us alert and can help you jumpstart your day.

The health effects of coffee are often debated. Some claim it’s a superfood that will keep your body in check while others warn about the influence of too much caffeine on the body.

So where does this leave coffee and diabetes? Can the bean help with your blood glucose? Or does it have a bad impact on your blood sugar levels?

Research has shown that coffee may lower the risks of a number of conditions including strokes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and certain cancers. In fact, coffee may even help boost your cerebral power by enhancing your concentration and memory.[1]

That’s because coffee beans are actually seeds and contain nutrients that are known to be beneficial to your health. Take polyphenols, for example. Coffee is full of them and they are believed to prevent inflammatory illnesses and contain anticarcinogenic properties.[2]

Another beneficial compound is cafestol. Researchers at the Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark reported that cafestol increases insulin secretion. This excess insulin helped reduce fasting glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity in mice during their research.[3]

Another study from Dr. João Sérgio Neves and Prof. Davide Carvalho from the University of Porto in Portugal showed that caffeine may decrease the risk of death among women living with diabetes.[4] In fact, the study showed that one cup of coffee per day may cut the death risk by more than half.

But can coffee actually help prevent the onset of diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes?

There is an indication that in fact, coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A 2009 study showed that those that drank coffee on a daily basis had a 40% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.[5]

But, as all things in life, it’s important to consume coffee in moderation. Caffeine is a drug that could have some serious side effects on the body, especially when consumed in excess. Also, many coffee drinkers add sugar to their brew. If you are living with diabetes, this excess sugar could cause problems for your blood glucose.

Another thing to keep in mind is that coffee definitely has the ability to keep you alert and awake, so much so that some people have trouble sleeping at night. And for people living with diabetes, this can be problematic.

Not only can a lack of sleep exacerbate diabetes, there is even some research that suggests sleep deprivation could lead to pre-diabetes according to Mark Mahowald, MD, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Hennepin County.[6]

So, there you have it! Most of us can agree that coffee is a wonderful drink that’s tasty and gratifying. Besides its satisfying taste, it may also have a positive influence on your blood glucose.

Keep in mind that further studies are likely needed to confirm the benefits of coffee for diabetes patients, but current evidence shows a positive trend towards the influence of this bean on our bodies!

[1] Candy Sagon. Coffee for Health – Positive and Negative Effects of Caffeine. https://www.aarp.org/ health/healthy-living/ info-10-2013/ coffee-for-health.html

[2] Coffee and Diabetes. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/ food/coffee-and -diabetes.html 

[3] Cafestol, a Bioactive Substance in Coffee, Has Antidiabetic Properties in KKAy Mice. http://pubs.acs.org/ doi/abs/10.1021/ acs.jnatprod.7b00395

[4] Caffeine linked to lower risk of death in women with diabetes. https://www.eurekalert. org/pub_releases/ 2017-09/d-clt091117.php

[5] Coffee and tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pubmed/ 19727658

[6] The Sleep-Diabetes Connection Denise Mann – https://www.webmd.com/ sleep-disorders/ features/diabetes-lack-of-sleep#1

DAR -0046 RevA 06/2019