Could it be that your chances of developing type 2 diabetes are reduced as you drink more coffee?
Even after taking into account other factors, such as age, exercise levels, alcohol consumption and diet, it appears to be so.
Those who drink seven or more cups of coffee a day are over 30 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than someone who drinks two or fewer cups.
The secret could be the chlorogenic acid, magnesium and other micronutrients found in coffee, believe the Dutch researchers who carried out the study.
Chlorogenic acid reduces glucose absorption, while magnesium improves insulin sensitivity and secretion.
The study looked at the lifestyle habits of 17,111 individuals aged between 30 and 60 who, on average, were drinking just over five cups of coffee a day. Fewer cases of type 2 diabetes were cropping up among the heavy coffee drinkers during the study years between 1987 and 1991.
Decaffeinated coffee didn't seem to have the same protective effect, and tea consumption was too low in the group to be measured.
The research set out to specifically discover if coffee drinking reduced the risks of type 2 diabetes. So nobody looked at the effects that heavy coffee drinking had on other areas of the participants' health.
So, if chlorogenic acid and magnesium are protective against diabetes, how about taking them in supplement form rather than in seven cups of coffee every day? (Lancet, 2002; 360: 1477-8).