Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles claim to have found a link between caffeine consumption and a lower risk of type-2 diabetes, as it can help to regulate the body’s sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen.
The report claims that women who drink at least four cups of coffee a day are 56 per cent less likely to develop diabetes as non-coffee drinkers, but the effect was not the same for women drinking decaffeinated coffee.
The key protein in this process is thought to be sex hormone-binding globulin or SHBG, which regulates the biological activity of testosterone and oestrogen, which have long been thought to play a role in the development of type-2 diabetes.
Previous reports have suggested that caffeine helps increase the body’s glucose tolerance by increasing metabolism, but the exact impact that it has on sex hormones remains unclear.
Dr Simin Liu from UCLA, said: "It seems that SHBG in the blood does reflect a genetic susceptibility to developing type-2 diabetes, but we now further show that this protein can be influenced by dietary factors such as coffee intake.”