|CAFFEINE & DIABETES
C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.
Everyone knows that excess sugar, excess calories and obesity are major contributors to the near epidemic of Type 2 diabetes. Pop and sugar junk food are certainly major factors. Now we know that caffeine may be a potent risk factor in the develpment of diabetes. And we even know why. Even in the ancient days when I as a medical student, the early 50’s, we knew that alloxan kills the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. For many decades alloxan-induced diabetes has provided the major animal model for producing diabetic animals.
Adult onset diabetics have the potential for recovering completely, just with exercise and weight loss. They also have the potential to reverse diabetes just by avoiding caffeine! As with much human research, the data remain mixed. For instance, there is ample evidence that total coffee intake is INVERSELY associated with development of Type 2 diabetes. But coffee and caffeine clearly increase cholesterol and triglycerides.
The evidence being mixed, I prefer to remain cautious–for people who exercise regularly and are not overweight, enjoy one or two cups of coffee daily. For couch potatoes and those overweight, avoid caffeine. Incidentally,I strongly prefer Ganoderma coffee, a blend of regular coffee and Reishi mushrooms. Tastes great and has that extra health benefit of Reishi!? I find the Nevada Tea and Coffee Company, located of course in Arizona, to be a good source.