It’s been known for some years that the regular consumption of even a modest amount of coffee greatly reduced the chances of developing diabetes.  And studies have found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 50% lower risk of contracting the disease.  Now, researchers in China may have discovered the mechanism which allows this protection against the disease to occur.

Islet cells in the pancreas make insulin

A person contracts diabetes when the ability of his pancreas to produce insulin is curtailed or even eliminated entirely.  According to the Kun Huang, PhD, a professor of biological pharmacy at the Huazhong University of Science & Technology and lead author of the new study, when deposits of a protein called “hIAPP” (human islet amyloid polypeptide) accumulate, they can lead to the death of cells in the pancreas and the development of diabetes.  However, the Chinese study demonstrated that when hIAPP is exposed to caffeine, caffeic acid, or chlorogenic acid, three major active compounds in coffee, the formation of toxic hIAPP amyloid is inhibited, and, in this way, pancreatic cells are protected and the development of diabetes is forestalled or even reversed.
””We exposed hIAPP to coffee extracts,” said Dr. Huangand.  “We found that three major coffee compounds can reverse this toxic process and may explain why coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”  All three of these extracts had a protective effect on the pancreas.  However, caffeic acid was the most powerful and caffeine the least powerful of the three.

The National Basic Research Program of China, the Natural Science Foundation of China, and other non-industry sources funded the study that was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *