Researchers think they know why coffee protects the body against type 2 diabetes. That’s good news for Costa Rica’s coffee producers.
A protein called sex hormone–binding globulin regulates the biological activity of the body’s sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which have long been thought to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, and coffee consumption, it turns out, increases plasma levels of this protein, according to researchers at the University of California at Los Angles.
The study showed that women who drink at least four cups of coffee a day are less than half as likely to develop
diabetes as non-coffee drinkers. The university said the study was made public in the current edition of the journal Diabetes. The authors are Atsushi Goto, a doctoral student at the university, and Simin Liu, a professor of medicine.
The university pointed out that the American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 24 million children and adults in the U.S. — nearly 8 percent of the population — have diabetes and that type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of these cases.
Scientists have known for a long time that coffee drinking reduces the incidences of type 2 diabetes, but they did not know why, the university said.