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Study Shows Coffee May Reduce Diabetes Risk

Every morning millions of people around the world reach for a cup of coffee to start their day. But is that a good idea? For years, some health experts have warned about the negative effects of caffeine from drinking too much coffee. But a new study shows that coffee … with or without the caffeine … can reduce the risk of Type II diabetes.

Millions of people say they can't get started in the morning without a cup of coffee. Some admit they are addicted to caffeine, the taste and are cranky when they don’t drink coffee.

No matter whether it's straight black … filled with milk and sugar … latte or cappuccino… studies have shown coffee can reduce the risk of Parkinson's Disease … liver and breast cancer … gallstones … and now Type II diabetes. It's a form of diabetes generally associated with obesity and the inability of insulin to control blood sugar. Researchers studied the coffee consumption of 28,000 women in the U.S. state of Iowa. Those who drank at least six cups of regular coffee a day were 22 percent less likely to develop the disease. Those who drank similar amounts of decaffeinated coffee were 33 percent less likely.

"We found that there are compounds in coffee which, when given to a rat, enhance the capacity of its liver to burn sugar … much like anti-diabetic medications," said Dr. Peter Martin of Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine.

But some medical experts issue a note of caution.

"I don't think I would have people go out and start drinking coffee in the hope they're going to decrease their risk for diabetes," said Dr. David Nathan, who is with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

Health experts warn that drinking too much coffee can promote caffeine addiction, a higher risk of brain hemorrhage and may be bad for the heart. The best ways to prevent Type II diabetes, they say, are the simplest ones - exercise regularly, follow a sensible diet and check in with your doctor.