The Role of Coffee in Reducing Diabetes Risk for Women with Gestational Diabetes History

Researchers have discovered that coffee consumption can help women with gestational diabetes a lower their increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

One of the highest risk groups for type 2 diabetes are women who experienced gestational diabetes – also referred to as gestational diabetes. Relative to generally healthy females, gestational diabetic women may have up to 10 times higher risks for developing type 2 diabetes later on.

Current research indicates that drinking 2 to 5 daily cups of either decaffeinated or caffeinated coffee could provide an effective means to postpone or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Coffee’s bioactive components likely contribute to its health-promoting qualities, including polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally-occurring plant micronutrients known as polyphenols that have numerous health benefits and can be found in plants and foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and oils in small amounts.

Coffee appears to reduce type 2 diabetes risk among the general population; however, its impact was uncertain for women with gestational diabetes histories.

Therefore, researchers investigated the long-term consumption of coffee by women who had gestational diabetes and thus an increased risk for type 2 diabetes later.

Coffee consumption was investigated for its association with type 2 diabetes by substituting sugary beverages with coffee as part of an experiment.

Over 25 years, over 4,500 gestational diabetes participants who consumed coffee regularly were monitored, and any associations between their long-term consumption of coffee and subsequent type 2 diabetes risk were explored.

Caffeinated coffee consumption after pregnancy was found to be associated with a reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. When compared with individuals who did not consume any caffeinated coffee at all, risk was reduced by 10-17% when taking two or more daily cups; it dropped even further when four or more cups were taken daily.

Researchers conducted a study that didn’t find decaffeinated coffee to be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes; this may have been caused by the small sample size for decaf coffee drinkers in this research project.

Substituting coffee for sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages has also shown to reduce risk by 17% for sugary drinks and 10% for artificial sweeteners.

Overall, our findings suggest that including two to five daily cups of caffeinated coffee without high-fat/whole-fat dairy and sugar as part of a healthy lifestyle regimen for women who have experienced gestational diabetes could be beneficial.

Though coffee may be considered a healthier alternative to sweetened beverages, its health benefits depend on which condiments are added such as milk and sugar.

Care should also be taken not to consume too much coffee; particularly those in certain groups should limit their coffee intake. Little is known about how it affects pregnant women and children.

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