Can America’s Favorite Drink Stop Diabetes? A New Study Says Yes!

College of DuPage Nursing Student Brian Gallagher writes that every morning millions of Americans wake up and have a cup – or more – of coffee, to get their day started. Does this simple act keep diabetes at bay? A recent study, published in the, Journal of Natural Products, by Fredrik Brustad Mellbeye et al., says that it does. Mellbeye and colleagues followed up on previous studies showing a link between the consumption of coffee and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

Original studies showed that four cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of developing T2DM, originally thought to be from caffeine, although, this was later disproven when the same effects were observed from decaffeinated coffee. According to Mellbeye et al., a compound in coffee called, cafestol, increases the secretion of insulin, thereby, increasing glucose uptake in the cells similar to certain commonly prescribed anti-diabetic drugs. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose into cells for use as body fuel.

Mellbey et al., studied two groups of rats with differing cafestol levels; they then compared blood glucose levels and insulin secretory capacity between the groups. After ten weeks both groups had lower glucose levels and an improved insulin secretory capacity, when compared to the control group. Interestingly the compound cafestol was also found to be less harmful to the human body than the traditional anti-diabetic medications; there was no incidence of hypoglycemia or low glucose levels which is a common side effect from anti-diabetic medications.

While the effects of this compound have yet to officially be tested, it more than likely will be developed into a drug for prevention and treatment of diabetes. While it’s not currently on the market in the form of a medication, it is still available in American’s favorite drink; coffee!



Fredrik Brustad Mellbye, Per Bendix Jeppesen, Pedram Shokouh, Christoffer Laustsen, Kjeld Hermansen, Søren Gregersen. Cafestol, a Bioactive Substance in Coffee, Has Antidiabetic Properties in KKAy Mice. Journal of Natural Products, 2017; 80 (8): 2353 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00395



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