What is the Relationship Between Coffee and Diabetes?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 21 January 2020
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Information on coffee and diabetes is conflicting, with some studies suggesting the beverage can exacerbate diabetes, while others point to regular coffee consumption as a technique for reducing the risk of developing the disease. This conflict is the result of differing approaches to coffee and diabetes studies, along with the difficulty involved in controlling for all factors in dietary studies. The bottom line is that patients with diabetes should adjust their coffee intake in accordance with their blood sugar levels. If their readings are usually fine, they are clearly doing something right. If their levels fluctuate or are consistently high, some diet and exercise modifications, including reducing coffee intake, may be in order.

Studies on coffee and diabetes in patients with diabetes have suggested that coffee can elevate blood sugar. This is a known risk of caffeine consumption. Moderating coffee intake may be recommended; some practitioners suggest that diabetic patients stick to around two cups a day. Patients with concerns about blood glucose levels and coffee consumption can test themselves to see how coffee affects their blood sugar and may want to think about using a low-caffeine or decaffeinated coffee.


For people who do not have diabetes, studies have shown that drinking coffee daily can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This is the result of interactions between the complex chemicals in coffee and the patient's body. It is important to note that coffee contains much more than just caffeine, and the benefits of this beverage are often the result of other compounds found in coffee. Researchers who study coffee have analyzed it extensively to learn about the factors that impact various concentrations of compounds in coffee, from the plants it comes from to how it is brewed.

Diabetes is a heavily studied medical condition and researchers are always embarking on new studies involving diabetes and various human populations. People interested in following studies on coffee and diabetes can check with medical journals to look up the latest information. There are also Internet alert services providing people with an opportunity to get clippings matching certain keyphrases delivered to their email inboxes.

Patients concerned about the connection between coffee and diabetes can consult their doctors. Doctors who focus on diabetes care usually have access to the latest information about foods both good and bad for diabetes, and they can provide their patients with an overview. Patients with diabetes who don't want to give up their coffee habit could consider discussing alternative methods of keeping blood sugar down, making adjustments to create room for more coffee in their lives.


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Post 3

I'm drinking a cup or two of coffee to prevent diabetes. Diabetes runs in my family and I read that coffee can help. I did ask my doctor about it. He doesn't believe that coffee can prevent genetic diabetes but he doesn't see a harm in enjoying some coffee either.

Post 2

@turquoise-- The studies I have read about had similar results. I too don't think that coffee in moderation has a negative affect on diabetes. Excessive coffee might though by causing the liver to release glucose into the blood stream. Moreover, diabetics carry a high risk for heart diseases and high blood pressure. And it is well known that too much caffeine increases blood pressure.

As long as one keeps coffee consumption to a moderate, I don't think there will be any problems.

Post 1

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I read up on this topic. I read a few studies that were done on the effects of caffeine on insulin. These studies showed that caffeine increases insulin production.

What this means is that caffeinated drinks can reduce blood sugar if someone doesn't have insulin resistance or is treating it with medication. I personally drink one to two cups of sugar free coffee with milk daily. I have not experienced a blood sugar increase due to coffee. I think the same goes for sugar-free black tea. I'm not too sure about caffeinated sodas though. I think those affect blood sugar negatively by making someone crave sweets.

If anyone has seen studies showing the contrary, I would like to hear about it since it has been a few years since I read about this topic.

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