Drinking coffee each morning may do more than just provide a caffeine kick. It may decrease the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from UCLA may have found a potential mechanism at the molecular level that directly provides the disease-protecting effects in coffee.
A protein the body called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) works to regulate estrogen and testosterone (the sex hormones). These hormones have been long linked to type 2 diabetes. Drinking coffee effectively increases plasma levels of SHBG.
The effects may only be noticeable when drinking large amounts of coffee. Apparently, women drinking more than three cups per day notice less than half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Some people are carriers of an SHBG gene that provides protective qualities. Double coffee consumption and the carrying of this gene and the risk of type 2 diabetes falls even lower.
Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not show similar qualities of regular coffee. When drinking decaf, SHBG levels showed no increase, also meaning the diabetes risk did not decrease.
About 8 percent of Americans have diabetes (around 24 million people).