Diabetes is a disease that has long plagued patients around the world; yet despite the history and prevalence of the condition, it continues to mystify doctors, researchers and patients. One mystery is the correlation between diabetes and caffeine.
Medical experts believe that caffeine poses a higher risk for contracting diabetes, and increases the dangers for those who already have the disease. There are substances in coffee, for example, that can have negative effects on the body's metabolism, presenting health dangers to diabetics and non-diabetics alike. On the other hand, researchers in Japan claim that people who drink caffeine may be reducing their risk of developing diabetes. A study conducted on participants who took caffeine in the form of oolong, black or green teas showed that drinking at lease three cups or more every day could reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 33 percent. Despite these findings, modern medical research suggests that it's still better to avoid caffeine if you want to reduce your risk or developing diabetes or control an existing condition.
Research conducted at a respected university medical centre suggested that drinking caffeine with meals would result in an increase in insulin and glucose levels in participants with Type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a naturally-occurring component in the body that converts glucose into energy. A person with diabetes who drinks caffeine with a meal may suffer from a hindered metabolism. Participants who fasted during the study showed no significant changes in their insulin or glucose levels.
Diabetes patients know that it's important to lower blood glucose levels. Healthy levels can easily be maintained by eating the right foods and exercising regularly. Now, these new medical findings suggest that reducing or eliminating caffeine is another way to control diabetes.
Caffeine has a direct negative effect on insulin levels. As you know, diabetes is the inability to control sugar levels in the blood. In some cases, the body doesn't produce enough insulin. In other cases, the body produces a hormone that resists insulin.
A chemical called alloxan is a known cause of diabetes. This theory was proven in lab tests where mice fed with alloxan developed diabetes. Alloxan is a free radical generator that not only poisons our insulin-creating cells, but can also cause aging and disease. Alloxan causes damage to the pancreas, including pancreatic cancer. Caffeine causes the natural creation of alloxan in the body, therefore increasing the chance of developing diabetes, or making an existing condition worse.
Even though the consumption of caffeine can contribute to many health concerns and diseases, people around the world continue to thrive on it. Caffeine is present in tea, coffee, soft drinks, chocolate and many diet and energy supplements. People who drink several cups of coffee, tea or soft drinks on a daily basis are taking in massive doses of harmful alloxan. Even decaffeinated beverages contain some caffeine and, therefore, certain levels of alloxan. Everyone should limit their caffeine intakes, particularly those at risk of, or suffering from, diabetes.
Caffeine intake used to be a health issue reserved for older patients. Now, younger people are facing the same dangers. The soft drink industry is, sadly, marketing "power drinks" with dangerously high levels of caffeine to consumers in the age 15-21 demographic. Some juices and even bottled waters are infused with caffeine, and even respected tea manufacturers are producing "high-powered" teas that are packed with caffeine.
If you are interested in preventing the onset of diabetes, consider lowering your caffeine intake. If you already suffer with the disease, speak with your doctor about the correlation between caffeine and diabetes. For your good health, take steps to reduce caffeine. For optimal health, eliminate it from your diet altogether.