Coffee may give us an early jump-start to our day but numerous studies have shown that it could also protect against developing type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) have discovered a molecular mechanism behind coffee’s protective nature.
Coffee may affect a protein known as sex-hormone binding globulin that regulates the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, which have both previously been linked to diabetes. When researchers controlled their results for this protein, they found no significant difference in diabetes risk between coffee drinkers and non-drinkers, leading them to believe that SHBG is the key to the connection.
Though the exact connection is not certain, researchers have discovered two mutations on the protein; one that increases the risk of getting type-2 diabetes and one that decreases it. They also found that drinking decaffeinated coffee does not have the same effect.
Researchers at UCLA discovered that women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee each day had significantly higher levels of SHBG than did non-drinkers and were 56 percent less likely to develop diabetes than non-drinkers.
Unfortunately, individuals who drink decaf coffee do not benefit as much as non-decaf drinkers.
“Consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not significantly associated with SHBG levels, nor diabetes risk,” said Atsushi Goto, doctoral student in epidemiology and co-author of the study.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 25.8 million people that adds up to 8.3 percent of the entire US population.
Those at risk for the disease should consider looking into life insurance in the event that they develop the disease later. Also keep in mind that life insurance rates are currently at an industry all-time low, making insurance even more affordable.