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Drinking large quantities of coffee may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research. A study of 126,000 men and women found that individuals who drank more "full-test" coffee had a decreased risk of the disease, compared with those who drank less or no coffee at all. The most promising result was seen in men who consumed more than 5 cups of coffee. This group had about half the odds of developing diabetes as men who did not drink any regular coffee.
Women who drank caffeinated coffee also gained protection from the disease, but not as significant as men. In both groups, the results of coffee drinking on diabetes risk did not become obvious until individuals drank at least 4 cups daily.
Yet, the researchers warn that their study "cannot prove a cause-effect relationship" linking caffeine intake and a lower risk of diabetes. Also, they believe that it is too early to suggest that individuals drink more coffee to ward off type 2 diabetes. (The findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, January 6, 2004.)