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Can Coffee Really Thwart Type 2 Diabetes?
Date:1/19/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Your morning "cup of Joe" may do more than deliver the jolt you need to get going -- it may also help you stave off type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

But, before you pour yourself a second cup know this: The study authors said their research was done with cell cultures and there's no proof yet that coffee has any ability to keep type 2 diabetes at bay.

Past research has suggested a link between coffee and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and now Chinese researchers behind the new study think they may know why that may be so. They found three major compounds in coffee that may provide potentially beneficial effects: caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeine.

"These findings suggest that the beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes mellitus may be partly due to the ability of the major coffee components and metabolites to inhibit the toxic aggregation of hIAPP [human islet amyloid polypeptide]," Ling Zheng, professor of cellular biology at Wuhan University in China, and colleagues wrote.

Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) is a substance normally found in the pancreas, according to background information in the study. Sometimes, however, abnormal protein deposits (toxic aggregation) arise from hIAPP. These abnormal deposits (amyloid fibrils) are found in people with type 2 diabetes, the study authors said.

The researchers wondered if blocking formation of these deposits could help prevent or treat type 2 diabetes, the more common form of the blood sugar disorder. The next step would be to find a substance that might prevent these deposits.

In 2009, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that people who drank the most coffee seemed to have the lowest risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That study reported that with each cup of coffee consumed daily, the ris
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