People who drink three or four cups of coffee per day have an approximately 25% lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes compared with those who drink two cups or fewer, according to an analysis of previous research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed data from 18 different studies involving more than 450,000 people, and found a strong correlation between increased consumption of both coffee and tea and lower risk for diabetes. Individuals who drank three or more cups of tea per day had a one fifth lower risk for diabetes compared with those who drank none as well. What’s more, their findings suggest that it isn’t likely the caffeine in these drinks providing protection: according to the analysis, decaffeinated coffee had the strongest correlation with reduced risk for diabetes—people who drank three or four cups of decaf per day had roughly a third lower risk of developing diabetes compared with those who drank none.
Of course, while these findings raise interesting questions for future research, and the large scale, meta-analysis lends additional weight to the results, the potential benefits of coffee and tea components need further study before doctors will be prescribing Earl Grey or Columbian roast. And, in the meantime, health experts reiterate that maintaining a healthy body weight, eating well and exercising regularly are still the best methods for reducing type 2 diabetes risk.