Caffeine and diabetes -- helpful or harmful?

April 7, 2011

A growing body of research suggests that caffeine disrupts glucose metabolism and may contribute to the development and poor control of type 2 diabetes, a major public health problem. A review article in the inaugural issue of Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science, a quarterly peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers, examines the latest evidence, contradicting earlier studies suggesting a protective effect of caffeine.

James Lane, PhD, Duke University, describes numerous studies that have demonstrated caffeine's potential for increasing (impaired ) in adults that do not have diabetes, an effect that could make susceptible individuals more likely to develop the disease. In adults with , studies have shown that the increase in that occurs after they eat carbohydrates is exaggerated if they also consume a caffeinated beverage such as coffee. This effect could contribute to higher glucose levels in people with diabetes and could compromise treatment aimed at controlling their blood glucose.

"More than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes, says Editor-in-Chief Jack E. James, PhD, School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. "The links that have been revealed between diabetes and the consumption of caffeine beverages (especially coffee) are of monumental importance when it is acknowledged that more than 80% of the world's population consumes caffeine daily. Dr. Lane's review of the topic gives the clearest account to date of what we know, what we don't know, and what needs to be done – urgently!"

Journal of Caffeine Research provides a much-needed authoritative source and central forum to advance knowledge of caffeine science and caffeine's effects on human health. It strives to be inclusive with respect to the diversity of research methodologies used to investigate caffeine, and the diversity of views and opinions regarding its mechanisms and effects, and will combine scientific research and clinical studies on caffeine, with an impact across many fields.

The inaugural issue of the Journal captures the broad scope of debate and research in this emerging clinical and scientific arena. Included are an interview on "Caffeine Consumption and Combat Stress amongst Military Personnel," a provocative roundtable discussion on "Caffeine, Alcohol, and Youth: A Toxic Mix," and articles on "Effects of Caffeine Consumption by Women and Men on the Outcome of In Vitro Fertilization," "The 'Buzz' on Caffeine: Patterns of Caffeine Use in a Convenience Sample of College Students," "Gender Differences in Subjective and Physiological Responses to Caffeine and the Role of Steroid Hormones," "Loss of Coronary Dilation to N6-2-(4-Aminophenyl) Ethyladenosine in Isolated Hearts from Chronic Caffeine- and Nifedipine-Treated Rats," "Energy Drink Use and Substance Use among Musicians," and more.

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