Drinking tea or coffee doesn’t just help keep you warm and alert – a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that fans of these warm beverages have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The effect is not attributed to caffeine, as decaffeinated coffee appears to have the greatest preventive effect. Other compounds may explain this biological effect, such as magnesium and other antioxidants.
A recent literature review looked at 18 studies involving a total of nearly 500,000 participants. The analysis revealed that individuals who drink three or four cups of tea or coffee per day appear to be 20 percent less likely to develop diabetes. Decaffeinated coffee had an even bigger effect, lowering that risk by a third.
Type 2 diabetes usually appears in persons over the age of 40, usually in overweight individuals. In the middle or long term, the consequences of untreated or poorly controlled type 2 diabetes are very serious: cardiovascular disease, renal dysfunction, vision problems, neuropathic pain and wounds that do not heal properly, not to mention a decreased life expectancy and quality of life.
Treatment usually involves lifestyle changes (including increased physical activity, a balanced diet and reaching a healthy body weight), combined with taking oral medication/insulin, depending on the patient’s specific needs.
Regular exercise, a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy body weight are measures that have proven very effective at promoting overall good health and preventing numerous diseases, including diabetes.
Since tea and coffee seem to have unexpected benefits, don’t hesitate to enjoy these beverages… just make sure you don’t over-sweeten them!