Coffee is considered a natural antioxidant that helps prevent various diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer. However, this beneficial effect may not be true for people with diabetes. Caffeine is considered a bad habit for people with type 2 diabetes and should not be a beverage option of people suffering from this type of metabolic disease. Caffeine that is found in coffee tends to result in unstable blood sugar levels because caffeine prevents the movement of glucose into the cells for utilization leading to increased blood sugar levels.
Negative Effects of Caffeine in Diabetes
One research supports that patients with diabetes should not drink coffee. A study at Duke University Medical Center found that the presence of caffeine in diabetic patients led to raise in the blood glucose levels throughout the day and had the peak rise after meals when the blood glucose levels also is highest because of food intake.
Aside from this effect of caffeine, drinking coffee also leads to symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability and sleeplessness, which all contribute to decreased sensitivity to insulin; thereby leading to increased blood glucose levels. In addition, these symptoms also mask possible hypoglycemia that may be detrimental to a type 1 diabetic patient who requires insulin injections. Other similar studies also yield the same results indicating that drinking coffee with caffeine may lead to increased blood sugar levels.
Possible benefits of Coffee in Diabetes
With the results of the study, it is then concluded that drinking coffee is not safe for diabetic patients with type 2 or type 1 diabetes. However, there has also been evidence that drinking decaffeinated coffee in normal individuals reduces the risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. This may be contradicting to the effects of coffee in people already having the disease. Nevertheless, the difference lies in the presence of caffeine. Caffeinated coffee may increase blood sugar levels, but decaffeinated coffee may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
This beneficial effect of decaffeinated coffee maybe attributed to other components of coffee aside from caffeine. Coffee also contains magnesium that helps the cells to use carbohydrates and glucose effectively leading to reduced glucose loading in the blood. Coffee also contains chlorogenic acid, a type of antioxidant in the polyphenol class. This antioxidant helps reduce blood sugar levels. Lastly, coffee also contains quinides, which may improve sensitivity to insulin that will improve the control of blood sugar. The beneficial effects of decaffeinated coffee in preventing type 2 diabetes are achieved by drinking one to two cups of coffee a day.
Basically, coffee is detrimental for diabetes patients, but coffee is also beneficial for normal individuals. For diabetic patients who want to drink coffee, they may drink the decaffeinated ones to avoid the negative effects of caffeine. However, it is still essential to consult your physician regarding the use of decaffeinated coffee in diabetes. In addition, there are also other healthful beverages that diabetics can drink such as fresh fruits juices and water.
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