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Coffee may not be just a tasty way to get a jumpstart in the morning. New research has shown that it also benefits individuals who have received a positive HbA1C test for diabetes.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles say that the key to the beneficial effects of coffee lies in hormones. Elevated levels of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen have been shown to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, their study showed that components of coffee start a chemical reaction that help regulate these hormones and decrease diabetes risk.
The researchers said that coffee activates a protein in the body called sex hormone-regulating globulin. In human studies, this translated to a dramatic reduction in diabetes risk. The team found that individuals who drank four or more cups of coffee each day had significantly higher levels of the protein and were 56 percent less likely to develop diabetes.
The only catch, the researchers warned, is that decaf likely does not cut it. Participants who drank coffee without caffeine showed little alteration in diabetes risk.
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