Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Coffee and Blood Sugars

I read on what appeared to be a reasonably reputable site that coffee was implicated in increasing insulin resistance.  Given my blood sugar levels this is a bit of problem for me.  I love coffee but actually if it is going to elevate my blood sugars well maybe I need to re-evaluate.

So I did some quick research on line.  Here is a sample of what I found:

Caffeine Increases Blood Sugar In People With Type 2 Diabetes (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/95380.php)
  • A small US study suggests that people with type 2 diabetes who drink the equivalent of four cups of coffee or more a day may be causing their blood sugar levels to go up by 8 per cent (compared to non caffeine days), thus making it harder for them to manage their condition.
  • Other recent studies have shown that in habitual coffee drinkers with type 2 diabetes, caffeine appears to raise glucose and insulin after intakes of standardized carbohydrate loads. Lane and colleagues decided to investigate if this effect manifested after meals in the everyday life of type 2 diabetics and how it might undermine their efforts to manage their condition.

Habituation to caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for your cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar.  High blood sugar levels lead to arterial deterioration and increased risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease.

  • The effect of coffee on diabetes, when presented in the media can often be confusing. News stories can in the same week tout the benefits coffee can have on diabetes and shoot down coffee as being unhelpful for blood sugar levels. This doesn’t mean the articles are contradictory though. Put slightly more simply, coffee contains different chemicals, some of which have beneficial effects whereas others can have a less beneficial effect, such as caffeine which can impair insulin in the short term.
  • Caffeine has been shown to impair insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, indicating that coffee may see higher blood glucose levels.
  • However, a regular high caffeine intake has been linked with improved insulin sensitivity.  Coffee and its effect on risks of developing type 2 diabetes have been studied a number of times and has indicated a notably lower risk of type 2 diabetes being associated with coffee drinkers.  A 2009 study of 40,000 participants noted that consumption of 3 cups of tea or coffee a day lead to a 40% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Caffeine impairs insulin action, but doesn't necessarily affect blood sugar (glucose) levels in young, healthy adults. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, the impact of caffeine on insulin action may be associated with a small, but detectable rise in blood sugar levels, particularly after meals. About 250 milligrams of caffeine — or the equivalent of 2 to 2 1/2 cups (473 to 591 milliliters) of plain, brewed coffee — a day may cause this effect.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and you're struggling to control your blood sugar levels, limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet may provide a benefit.
But then .....

Effects of Coffee Consumption on Fasting Blood Glucose and Insulin Concentrations - http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/12/2990.full
  • Higher habitual coffee consumption was associated with higher insulin sensitivity (1) and a lower risk for type 2 diabetes (26) in diverse populations. In contrast, short-term metabolic studies showed that caffeine intake can acutely lower insulin sensitivity (79) and increase glucose concentrations (1015). Randomized intervention studies are needed to examine whether tolerance to these acute effects develops after longer-term consumption (16). We therefore examined the effects of coffee and caffeine on fasting blood concentrations of glucose and insulin over 2–4 weeks in two crossover studies in healthy volunteers.
  • After 2 weeks, coffee consumption tended to lead to higher fasting glucose concentrations, but no appreciable effect was observed after 4 weeks (Table 1). Fasting insulin concentrations, measured only after 4 weeks, were higher after the coffee period than after the no coffee period (Table 1). Tests for carry-over effects did not indicate that these existed (insulin: P = 0.79; glucose: P = 0.27).
  • Fasting glucose concentrations were similar after the caffeine, coffee, and placebo period (Table 1). Compared with the placebo period, fasting insulin concentrations tended to be higher after the coffee and caffeine periods (Table 1).
  • In conclusion, the present results indicate that tolerance to the adverse effects of high coffee consumption on insulin-glucose homeostasis does not develop within a 4-week period. This stresses that it is premature to advocate high coffee consumption as a means to lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Long-term trials of coffee consumption that include detailed measures of insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism are warranted to elucidate the apparent discrepancy with studies that observed an inverse association between habitual coffee consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes.
Pretty much all of these sites quote the one study so while it is early days in understanding the impact.  That said, there has been a lot of reseach on the health effects of diabtesNot health benefits of antioxidants.  Here is an example - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270202.php

So, What to do?  I love my coffee but perhaps it has to go.  My blood sugars are stable at the mid to los 7 area but I would like it to be lower.  Maybe I should stop drinking coffee but can I stand the headaches!!!