Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases for American’s to experience. Roughly one in every 10—34 million in total—have some form of diabetes, and it accounts for over 80,000 deaths per year, the sixth leading cause. Roughly 90-95% of those with diabetes suffer from type 2, which, per Medical News Today, can increase the risk of other health conditions, including “cancer, bone fracture, dementia, and circulatory diseases.”
But a new study finds a link between coffee and green tea consumption and a significantly reduced mortality rate for those with type 2 diabetes.
Published recently in the journal BMJ Open Diabetics Research & Care, the new study is the combined work of Japan’s Kyushu Univesity, Fukuoka Dental College, and Hakujyuji Hospital. For the study, researchers used data from the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry, “an ongoing study designed to assess the impact of medication and lifestyle on diabetes outcomes,” to assess how, in particular, green tea and coffee affected overall mortality rate. For the purposes of the study, “high consumption” was deemed to be two or more cups of coffee daily or four or more cups of green tea.
Looking at nearly 5,000 individuals with type 2 diabetes, whom the registry had tracked for a median of 5.3 years, a total of 309 people died. Cross-referencing the coffee and green tea consumption habits of those individuals, the researchers found a strong association between drinking either of the two beverages and a decreased “all-cause mortality risk,” and the more they drank, the less the risk.
Those with daily “high consumption” of coffee and green tea showed a 41% and 40%, respectively, decrease in mortality risk. And there appears to be knock-on effects of regularly consuming both beverages. 2-3 cups of green tea plus 2+ cups of coffee daily showed a 51% decrease, 4+ cups of green tea and one cup of coffee had 58%, and 4+ cups of green tea and 2+ cups of coffee daily had an astounding 63% drop in mortality for those surveyed.
The authors of the study do note the limitations of their findings. Information about coffee and green tea consumption, for instance, came via self-reporting by participants, which may not always be 100% accurate. The study is also observational, meaning no causal relationship could be established. They also state that other factors that may have affected the result, “level of education and household income” being potentially significant here. Particularly, the authors note that higher levels of education and income are associate with both greater coffee consumption and lower mortality rates, and it may be these factors more significantly affecting the outcomes than coffee or green tea.
Though not entirely conclusive, the evidence is mounting that a healthy (read: a lot) amount of coffee daily is actually good for you. So nothing really to change in your day-to-day. Maybe consider adding in a little green tea from time to time, because, as we have said many times in the past, tea is good.