I’ve mentioned before that I don’t drink coffee.
It’s not because I think it’s fundamentally unhealthy. Or because of the way it’s processed. Or any of the other myriad things people fret about with regard to coffee.
It simply makes me wired. And I have enough energy for 10 people already. (Believe me, you would not want to see me on coffee. It’s not a good look.)
But, listen—I know a lot of people feel like they simply can’t function before they’ve had their morning coffee. And the good news is, you don’t have to try.
Because despite what you may have heard, there’s no reason to feel bad about this particular “vice.” And the results of a recent study are published proof.
Researchers found that drinking coffee—even decaf—can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes dramatically. Specifically, this study found that people who drink six cups per day had a 33 percent lower risk of diabetes compared to people who don’t drink coffee at all.
Now, that’s a whole lot of coffee. And if you’re drinking the high-octane stuff, you could end up running a completely different set of risks. (Especially where your blood pressure is concerned.)
But there were two important aspects to this study that stood out to me:
1.) The caffeine issue was taken out of the equation entirely. As I mentioned, decaf worked just as well.
2.) Researchers also found that coffee’s benefits were dose-dependent.
In other words, even a single cup of coffee per day would still drop diabetes risk by 9 percent. (Six percent, if it’s decaf.) So you don’t have to guzzle an entire pot to see benefits.
So what makes coffee such a potent diabetes fighter?
Well, coffee features a stellar profile of antioxidant polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals (like magnesium and chromium). But the most noteworthy among these is probably chlorogenic acid.
You might recall that I’ve mentioned this incredible compound here before. More than once, in fact. (If you missed it, check out these studies here and here.)
Chlorogenic acid can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce blood sugar absorption, and regulate endothelial function, among other things. And there’s no question it’s behind at least some of coffee’s anti-diabetes benefits.
But is it the only compound involved? That’s pretty doubtful.
This is precisely why we have so much trouble performing clinical trials on isolated natural compounds. It’s impossible to use the pharmaceutical trial model of “one ingredient = one outcome.” And why studies that try to use this approach on natural ingredients so often appear to show less-than-impressive results. Things in nature don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist together, and their effects are synergistic.
So it’s always best to go straight to the source. Even if that source is coffee. (Just do me a favor and skip the milk and sugar.)
And if you’re not a coffee drinker? Good news: you don’t have to become one to reap its best rewards. Because green coffee bean extract contains all the same beneficial compounds as coffee itself (including chlorogenic acid).
In fact, green coffee bean extract contains highly concentrated amounts of these compounds. Making it and even more potent source of coffee’s benefits. Which is why even coffee drinkers can benefit from adding green coffee bean extract to their daily regimen.
I recommend taking at least 225 mgs of green coffee bean extract per day.
“Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis.” Diabetes Care. 2014 Feb;37(2):569-86.