Consumption of coffee, particularly the decaffeinated variety, is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers say women who drank six or more cups of decaffeinated coffee a day were 33 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Epidemiologist Dr. Mark A. Pereira, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis said coffee might play a role in how the body regulates sugar.
In type 2 diabetes, patients no longer break down sugar properly.
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, which may protect the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin - the hormone that regulates sugar.
In type 2 diabetes, patients either don’t make enough insulin to keep sugar levels under control or their insulin is ineffective.
SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, June 26, 2006.