(Reuters Health Summary)
No matter whether it's tea, coffee or decaf, drinking any of these brews may cut your risk of a multitude of ailments, including diabetes, according to a meta-analysis of over 18 studies including nearly 458,000 participants.
Dr. Rachel Huxley of The University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues found that for each additional cup of coffee a person consumed each day, their risk of diabetes decreased by 7 percent. They also found that with decaf, people who consumed more than three or four cups a day were at 36 percent lower risk of diabetes. In regards to tea, people who drank more than three or four cups daily were at 18 percent lower diabetes risk.
The researchers can't conclude whether the results of the studies that they analyzed are solely due to the beverages themselves or if there is an effect of the individuals who choose to consume them - perhaps they practice healthier diets to begin with. Despite these doubts, the fact that all three types of beverages showed similar effects suggests that the results are real, and the researchers think that the magnesium, lignans (estrogen-like chemicals found in plants), or chlorogenic acids (antioxidants that slow the release of sugar into the blood after a meal) found in coffee, tea and decaf contribute to their health benefits.
Check out more about this study in the article called "More evidence coffee, tea could prevent diabetes" from Reuters Health (Dec. 14, 2009).