Not sure how this works with the other info concerning caffeine’s effects on insulin sensitivity, but it seems a paradox that coffee can protect against Type II diabetes while having a negative effect on insulin sensitiviy – unless the caffeine effect is overpowered by other substances in coffee. What say the science types?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features /food/chi-0407070186jul07,1,1948678 .story
No clouds in your coffee
Drink up, evidence is growing on the health benefits of a cup of joe
Janet Helm, Special to the Tribune
Published July 7, 2004
Some people just can’t get started in the morning without a freshly brewed cup of joe. For others, this beloved beverage has become more than a morning routine. A stop at the local coffeehouse for a cappuccino or iced mocha has become an afternoon tradition.
Though the virtues of coffee drinking may have been debated in the past, now there appear to be new reasons to rejoice over java. More and more studies have linked coffee consumption to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, colon cancer and potentially heart disease.
“Coffee has much more in it than caffeine,” said Dr. PeMartin, director of the Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies, which conducts medical research on coffee and is funded by a grant from a consortium of coffee-producing countries. “It’s a very complex beverage that contains hundreds of compounds, including many with antioxidant effects.”
Though the tea industry has been touting its antioxidants, turns out coffee may contain even more–specifically polyphenols. One of the most potent antioxidants in coffee is called chlorogenic acid, which is partially responsible for the coffee flavor. Some reports estimate that more than 850 compounds are packed inside the humble bean.
Martin said that the roasting process appears to change the structure of the compounds in coffee–boosting the potential disease-fighting benefits. Martin, who is also a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Vanderbilt, is looking at the potential use of coffee compounds to treat addiction and depression. Past studies indicate that coffee may help lift moods, reduce anxiety and depression, and even reduce the risk of suicide.
Diabetes risk reduction
Some of the strongest and latest research may be the connection between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, a growing health epidemic that is closely linked to the rising rates of obesity.
In Finland, where coffee consumption is higher than anywhere else in the world, researchers found that coffee appeared to have a protective effect against the development of type 2 diabetes. The more cups of coffee consumed, the greater the protection.
Published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study examined the coffee-drinking habits of 6,974 Finnish men and 7,655 women. After a 12-year follow-up, women drinking three to four cups of coffee a day experienced a 29 percent reduced risk of diabetes, while risk dropped by 79 percent for women who drank 10 or more cups a day.
For men in the study, drinking three to four cups of coffee a day was associated with a 27 percent lower risk for diabetes. Those men who drank 10 or more cups lowered their risk by 55 percent.
A second study examining an even larger population in the United States found similar results. After analyzing data on 126,000 people for as long as 18 years, Harvard researchers found that having six or more cups of coffee each day slashed men’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 54 per-cent and women’s by 30 percent compared to those who avoid coffee. Decaffeinated coffee had a weaker effect. The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
“The ingredients in coffee can actually improve sensitivity to insulin and glucose metabolism, which contributes to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Frank Hu, senior author of the study and an associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Hu said the exact mechanism is not fully understood–and more research is needed–but these findings are good news for people who drink a lot of coffee. He is now studying the role of coffee for people who already have diabetes.
Though coffee may offer a bundle of benefits, nutritionists warn that you should choose your coffee drinks wisely. Some coffees–particularly the frozen or sweetened iced drinks–can pack a powerful caloric punch. Many are more like liquid candy or a slice of cheesecake than coffee. For instance, a 24-ounce Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino with whipped cream at Starbucks contains a whopping 780 calories and 19 grams of fat. A regular run for these drinks can pack on the pounds.
For college students, a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests fancy coffee concoctions may be contributing to the “freshman 15.” Researchers at Simmons College in Boston found that students who regularly drank gourmet coffees–cafe mochas, frozen coffee beverages and the like–consumed an extra 206 calories and 32 grams of sugar a day.
“I think people consider coffee as guilt-free, and they’re totally unaware of the calorie content of these drinks,” said Lola O’Rourke, a Seattle-based dietitian and ADA spokesperson. “Coffee used to add no calories or maybe up to 100 with a little cream and sugar; but many of today’s options contain 10 to 20 percent of daily calorie needs.”
O’Rourke said these liquid calories are not as filling as food so it’s easy to overdo it. She said people don’t tend to compensate by eating less at mealtimes. Although the calories in some coffee drinks may be a downside, she cited the calcium content as a bonus. Many of these drinks help sneak in a serving or two of milk, which may be the only source of calcium for some people.
Tips for shaving coffee calories
Order your latte with nonfat milk instead of whole. You’ll save about 100 calories per 16-ounce drink.
Skip the whip. A dollop of whipped cream adds about 130 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Substitute sugar-free syrups to sweeten your drink.
If you want a mocha, make it “light.” Order it with just one pump of chocolate syrup (25 calories) instead of 5 pumps (130 calories) that are typical for a 24-ounce drink.
Downsize when ordering a frozen concoction: For example, switching from a Starbucks vente (24-ounce) to a tall (12-ounce) Frappuccino will save about 200 calories.
Savor the flavor of plain iced coffee with a splash of nonfat milk–nearly calorie-free.
Copyright ? 2004, Chicago Tribune