Coffee-drinkers may have less risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research reveals.
Three compounds found in coffee seem to block the toxic accumulation of a protein linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and researcher Kun Huang, PhD, a professor of biological pharmacy at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, says those compounds could explain why drinking java could lower the risk of getting the disease.
The ”misfolding” of a protein called hIAPP (human islet amyloid polypeptide) has already been linked with an increased risk of diabetes — and when hIAPP deposits accumulate, they can lead to the death of cells in the pancreas. The hormone insulin, made by the pancreas, is crucial to move glucose to the cells for energy, and if the body does not have enough insulin, a diagnosis of diabetes is made.
In new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Huang and his colleagues looked at three major active compounds in coffee and their effect on stopping the toxic accumulation of the protein: caffeine, caffeic acid (CA), and chlorogenic acid (CGA).
“We exposed hIAPP to coffee extracts, and found caffeine, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid all inhibited the formation of toxic hIAPP amyloid and protected the pancreatic cells,” Huang told WebMD.
All three had an effect, but of them, caffeic acid was the best and caffeine was the worst.
Joe Vinson, PhD, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton who has researched coffee, said after reviewing the study findings, “We know that coffee can help prevent type 2 diabetes and this may be just one of the ways it can do that. There may be more.”