Coffee Could Delay Type 2 Diabetes Onset

A compound in coffee increased insulin secretion up to 87% in mice.

Drinking a cup of coffee is a staple in many Americans’ morning routines. While too much caffeinated coffee can have ill health effects, research suggests the beverage may protect against certain cancers and have other potentially life-saving benefits.

Many studies have shown that substances in coffee could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but did not explore its effects on animals. A new study published by the Journal of Natural Products suggests that the coffee-derived compounds improve cell function and insulin sensitivity in mice.

These findings could lead to the development of new diabetes drugs or preventative treatments, according to the authors.

Certain studies suggest that caffeine played a role in coffee’s protective effects, but this notion was disproven. The authors previously found that cafestol, a coffee-derived compound, increased insulin secretion when pancreatic cells were exposed to glucose. The compound was also observed to increase glucose uptake in muscle cells similarly to diabetic drugs.

In the new study, the authors aimed to determine whether the compound could prevent or delay diabetes onset in mice.

Mice models were fed high (1.1-mg) or low (0.4-mg) doses of cafestol or a regular diet. The authors analyzed fasting glucose, glucagon, and insulin levels, while also conducting gene expression analysis in liver, muscle, and fat tissues to determine the overall health effects of cafestol.

After 10 weeks, blood glucose levels were lowered by 28% to 30% in cafestol-fed mice compared with the control group, according to the study.

The authors found that fasting glucagon was 20% lower in the cafestol group and insulin secretion increased up to 87% in this group compared with control mice.

The high-dose group also benefited from improved insulin sensitivity, which increased 42% compared with the control group, according to the study.

Importantly, treatment with cafestol did not cause hypoglycemia, a common side effect of certain diabetes drugs that modify blood glucose levels.

The authors believe that daily treatment with cafestol may delay type 2 diabetes (T2D) in mice, making it a good candidate for human clinical trials, according to the study.

“Consequently, cafestol may contribute to the reduced risk of developing T2D in coffee consumers and has a potential role as an antidiabetic drug,” the authors concluded.