Coffee and doughnuts: double-trouble for diabetes risk

Mysterious protective effects of coffee against diabetes have been reported in the past.  A 2010 meta-analysis analyzing data from 18 studies reported that each additional cup of coffee consumed per day was associated with a 7% reduction in risk of diabetes.1  This was surprising, especially because coffee consumption has been shown to raise glucose levels after a meal so you would expect it to worsen diabetes, not help it.  However, this is true of both decaffeinated and regular coffee, although regular coffee raises blood glucose more than decaf.2 

The reason for the decreased diabetes risk remains uncertain, but since coffee comes from a darkly colored bean, it is likely that antioxidants, minerals, or other phytochemicals present in coffee may be responsible for the long term benefits seen in the observational studies.3 With this in mind, we must also remember that almost all of the subjects in the observational studies were eating the standard American diet and therefore starving for antioxidants and phytochemicals. 

Is the standard American diet so nutrient-poor that a significant portion of people’s phytochemical intake comes from their morning coffee? 

Coffee and donuts. Flickr: flyingroc

It’s likely. Additional studies support this possibility. One observational study of 28,000 postmenopausal women actually found that decaffeinated coffee was more protective than regular coffee – which suggests that the caffeine in coffee might be increasing risk, while the phytochemicals decrease risk.4 Chlorogenic acid and trigonelline, two of the major phytochemicals in coffee, have been shown to decrease blood glucose and insulin concentrations in the blood compared to placebo after ingesting sugar, so these phytochemicals likely increase insulin sensitivity.5  It is doubtful that coffee would offer any additional protection on top of a nutrient dense diet - the responsible phytochemicals can be obtained from other plant foods and the diet would not be so lacking in antioxidants.  For example, blueberries contain the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, and the phytoestrogen trigonelline is also found in peas, lentils, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. 6-8  The only reason coffee is beneficial is because of the severe deficiencies in the plant-derived phytochemicals in the diet of most Americans, and coffee at least supplies something.  

New research has found something that makes the insulin desensitizing effects of caffeine even worse - ingesting caffeine with a high-fat meal.

High-fat meals are another factor known to impair glucose tolerance, and saturated fat consumption causes the body to produce inflammatory molecules that contribute to insulin resistance.9  This study demonstrated caffeine consumption and a high-fat meal had additive insulin desensitizing effects, and this did  not merely raise the blood glucose - but also when the insulin doesn’t work well the body has to make more of it, and higher insulin causes weight gain and increases cancer risk.10-12 When subjects ingested a high-fat meal followed by a sugary drink, and blood glucose levels were 32% higher compared to subjects who had water in place of the high-fat meal.  In the second part of the study, subjects were given two cups of caffeinated coffee in addition to the high-fat meal and sugary beverage – this time, blood glucose was even higher – 65% higher than the subjects who had only water before the sugary drink.13  Apparently, coffee can have good or bad effects on insulin depending on whether it is consumed with high fat animal products or not.

The message here is that coffee can be both good and bad, but its powerful addictive qualities, with the potential for withdrawal headaches and to increase blood pressure should make people cautious;14-16 the most likely risks are almost never mentioned in news reports.  I do not think anyone should rely on coffee to protect themselves against diabetes.  If you do choose to drink coffee, stick to water-processed (non-chemical) decaf, and of course skip the doughnuts!

 

References:

1. Huxley R, Lee CM, Barzi F, et al: Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med 2009;169:2053-2063.

2. Greenberg JA, Owen DR, Geliebter A: Decaffeinated coffee and glucose metabolism in young men. Diabetes Care 2010;33:278-280.

3. Tunnicliffe JM, Shearer J: Coffee, glucose homeostasis, and insulin resistance: physiological mechanisms and mediators. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2008;33:1290-1300.

4. Pereira MA, Parker ED, Folsom AR: Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: an 11-year prospective study of 28 812 postmenopausal women. Arch Intern Med 2006;166:1311-1316.

5. van Dijk AE, Olthof MR, Meeuse JC, et al: Acute effects of decaffeinated coffee and the major coffee components chlorogenic acid and trigonelline on glucose tolerance. Diabetes Care 2009;32:1023-1025.

6. Zheng W, Wang SY: Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2003;51:502-509.

7. Rozan P, Kuo YH, Lambein F: Nonprotein amino acids in edible lentil and garden pea seedlings. Amino Acids 2001;20:319-324.

8. Sanchez-Hernandez L, Puchalska P, Garcia-Ruiz C, et al: Determination of trigonelline in seeds and vegetable oils by capillary electrophoresis as a novel marker for the detection of adulterations in olive oils. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2010;58:7489-7496.

9. Wen H, Gris D, Lei Y, et al: Fatty acid-induced NLRP3-ASC inflammasome activation interferes with insulin signaling. Nat Immunol 2011.

10. Bowker SL, Majumdar SR, Veugelers P, et al: Increased cancer-related mortality for patients with type 2 diabetes who use sulfonylureas or insulin. Diabetes Care 2006;29:254-258.

11. Davies M, Gupta S, Goldspink G, et al: The insulin-like growth factor system and colorectal cancer: clinical and experimental evidence. Int J Colorectal Dis 2006;21:201-208.

12. Harish K, Dharmalingam M, Himanshu M: Study Protocol: insulin and its role in cancer. BMC endocrine disorders 2007;7:10.

13. Beaudoin MS, Robinson LE, Graham TE: An oral lipid challenge and acute intake of caffeinated coffee additively decrease glucose tolerance in healthy men. J Nutr 2011;141:574-581.

14. Giggey PP, Wendell CR, Zonderman AB, et al: Greater Coffee Intake in Men Is Associated With Steeper Age-Related Increases in Blood Pressure. Am J Hypertens 2010.

15. Noordzij M, Uiterwaal CS, Arends LR, et al: Blood pressure response to chronic intake of coffee and caffeine: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Hypertens 2005;23:921-928.

16. James JE: Critical review of dietary caffeine and blood pressure: a relationship that should be taken more seriously. Psychosom Med 2004;66:63-71.

Coffee in Pregnancy Increases Cleft Lip Risk

Cleft lip is a fissure causing a gap in the top lip and findings of a new study in American Journal of Epidemiology reveal drinking coffee during pregnancy slightly ups the risk of cleft lip or harelip. Experts compared data on 573 women who had babies with cleft lip and 763 women whose kids did not. Women drinking a daily cup of coffee during the first 3 months of pregnancy were 1.39 times more likely to have a baby with harelip and the likelihood increased to 1.59 for women who drank 3 or more cups of coffee a day; Reuters reports.

Sometimes I have a cup of coffee. Luckily I can’t get pregnant. Coffee, i.e. caffeine, isn’t healthy. Drinking coffee has been shown to double arthritis risk, raise blood pressure and disturb heart function. Caffeine is a toxin, which can cause headaches, anxiety and detox symptoms similar to coming off drugs.

Recently, a study showed women drinking more than 3 cups of coffee a day had 17% smaller breasts. Oh, and instant coffee can make you hallucinate. Far out man.

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ADHD Drugs Give Kids Hallucinations!

According to a new study in Pediatrics many drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can cause hallucinations in children, even when taken as directed. Researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewed 49 clinical studies, conducted by pharmaceutical companies, and determined ADHD drugs can cause psychosis in some children, specifically worms, bugs and snakes crawling all over them. The list of medications included Ritalin, Focalin XR, Adderall XR, Daytrana, Concerta, Strattera, Celltech and Metadate CD; Reuters investigates.

My goodness, how many Scrabble points is all that worth! Now, Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of bombarding kids with drugs for ADHD, calling these medications unnecessary. Instead, he recommends a nutrient-dense diet, devoid of processed foods and packed with healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. And avoid food dyes too! They’ve been linked to ADHD.

Oh, and it was recently discovered drinking a lot of instant coffee causes hallucinations too.

Image credit: jsarcadia

Instant Coffee is Far Out, Causes Hallucinations...

Old hippies and frat boys will love this. A new study in Personality and Individual Differences claims people drinking 7 or more cups of instant coffee a day were 3 times more likely to hallucinate; psychotic experiences such as seeing ghosts and hearing voices. However, experts have their doubts, but, and this is really freaky, according to the report, 3% of people regularly hear voices; via BBC News.

Now, if hallucinating wasn’t bad enough! Previous research reveals daily coffee intake can actually shrink women’s breasts, 3 cups of coffee per day resulted in an average breast size 17% smaller than women who drank under 3 cups a day. Going insane and small boobies, sounds like a nightmare!

And other dangers of coffee, i.e. caffeine, consumption include heightened risk of osteoporosis, miscarriage and heart disease. So, is that morning pick-me-up really worth it? Probably not.

Image credit: javaturtle