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Good news for coffee drinkers

A recent study by the department of health at Harvard University looked at the role coffee plays in type 2 diabetes prevention. It was concluded that the exact mechanism for this prevention is still unknown, with a possible hypothesis being tied to the study results.

What did the study conclude? Basically you should drink coffee…and a pretty good amount of it. Study participants drank 5 cups of coffee per day, spread throughout the day. Although “no changes in glycemia and/or insulin sensitivity were observed after 8 weeks of coffee consumption, improvements in adipocyte and liver function as indicated by changes in adiponectin and fetuin-A concentrations may contribute to beneficial metabolic effects of long-term coffee consumption.(1)”

Just what the heck does that mean? Allow me to shed some light on the two important proteins named: adiponectin and fetuin-A.

Adiponectin is a protein hormone that modulates a number of metabolic processes, including glucose regulation and fatty acid catabolism, a.k.a fat burning. Adiponectin is exclusively secreted from fat tissue into the bloodstream and levels of the hormone are inversely correlated with body fat percentage in adults. In other words, the higher the level of adiponectin, the less body fat you will have/the more likely your body is to burn fat as opposed to storing it.

Fetuin-A is a protein hormone secreted by the liver into the bloodstream. It is a binding hormone that aids in transport and availability/regulation of substances in the blood, such as calcium. A Low fetuin-A level is associated with malnutrition, inflammation, and atherosclerosis (carotid plaques), as well as with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality (2). To put it in simpler terms, if this glycoprotein is low your risk of death is much higher.

Put all of that together and you get a recipe that tells you to have coffee and don’t feel bad if you have a second (or fifth) cup, in fact you can now say you are doing it for your health!


1. Effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on biological risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial
2. Low fetuin-A levels are associated with cardiovascular death: Impact of variations in the gene encoding fetuin.

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