Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Coffee and type 2 diabetes

This meta-analysis finds that increased coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Remember that meta-analysis is just going back and combining multiple smaller studies into one big one to improve statistical power and that type 2 diabetes is the kind that tends to affect the old, the obese and the inactive. Risk was reduced about 1/3 for the highest coffee consumers (>6 or 7 cups per day, which seems like a lot), and 1/4 for those drinking a bit less.

I have heard it said that "meta-analysis is to analysis as metaphysics is to physics" which probably overstates the case, but meta-analysis does have some problems. In addition, these kind of studies can only show correlation, not causation.

Most of the studies aggregated into the meta-analysis corrected for factors like age, sex and obesity (you could imagine that the obese drink less coffee because they are too lazy to get up and get it), so the authors hypothesize a direct effect of some component of coffee (apparently not caffeine itself since decaf gives a similar benefit) on the insulin/glucose metabolism machinery.

I also learned from reading this that drinking filtered coffee decreases LDL (the bad cholesterol) compared to drinking pot-boiled coffee. Apparently the switch from pot-boiled to filtered in Finland is thought to have signficantly decreased the incidence of coronary artery disease.


At 12:00 AM, Blogger Enlargement said...

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I will pop back in from time to time to see what you have new here.

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At 8:28 AM, Blogger Scott said...

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My site is a bit different, some think it's odd. I guess it's a matter how you look at it. I have a diabetes related site. Most of the articles are on diabetes.

At 2:08 AM, Blogger BLANCHE said...

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease where the body cannot process glucose (sugar) properly for growth and energy. The body needs Insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) to transport glucose from the blood into the cells, where it can be used for energy. With Diabetes the glucose (sugar) stays in the blood, either because the pancreas does not produce Insulin or that the available Insulin is not effective, causing blood glucose levels to rise. At the same time, however, the cells of the body are starved for glucose. Diabetes can lead to poor wound healing, higher risk of infections, and many other complications involving the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. There are two types of diabetes Type I, also called insulin dependent (IDDM), and Type II or non-insulin dependent (NIDDM) . In Type I (IDDM) the pancreas cannot make the insulin because the cells that produce Insulin have been destroyed, this type of diabetes usually appears in children or young adults.. In Type II (NIDDM) the pancreas often makes enough insulin but the Insulin that is made is not effective because of low Insulin sensitivity, this type of Diabetes usually appear in adults over the age of 40. Vitamin and mineral intakes contribute to the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Poor intake of vitamin E may alter blood sugar levels and it has been shown that people with low levels of vitamin E are more likely to develop NIDMM. Diabetes may also increase free-radical activity and result in an increased need for antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and alpha-lipoic acid. Insulin sensitivity has been shown to increase with vitamin B6. Many minerals can help as well. Chromium functions in the prevention of NIDDM. Zinc levels tend be low in people with IDDM and magnesium intake seems to reduce the risk of common complications of diabetes since it functions in the release of insulin and helps transport sugar into the cells.

At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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