Drinking This Much Green Tea & Coffee May Lower Diabetes Risks, Study Finds

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Young woman drinking green tea

If you've been thinking about kicking your caffeine habit, you may want to reconsider. Especially for people with type 2 diabetes, new research shows certain caffeinated drinks may have protective effects. A study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care Journal found routinely drinking green tea and coffee can lower the risk of dying from type 2 diabetes.

What did the research find? 

To study the potential protective effects of these two beverages, researchers looked at 4,923 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants were 66 years old on average and were studied over the course of five years. 

Each participant filled out a questionnaire detailing their food and drink habits, including how much coffee and green tea they drank each day. Other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, exercise, alcohol consumption, and sleep quality, were also taken into account. Here's what they found: 

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Daily green tea habits:

  • 607 participants didn't drink green tea at all
  • 1,143 drank up to one cup
  • 1,384 drank 2 to 3 cups
  • 1, 784 drank 4 or more cups

Daily coffee habits:

  • 994 participants didn't drink coffee at all 
  • 1,306 drank up to one cup 
  • 963 drank one cup 
  • 1,660 drank two or more

Throughout the course of the study, 309 people died, primarily from cancer and cardiovascular disease. The research shows people who drank either coffee, green tea, or both were less likely to die from diabetes risk factors (circulatory diseases, dementia, cancer, and bone fractures). 

How much to drink in one day. 

Green tea drinkers lowered their risk by 15% (up to one cup per day), 27% (two to three cups), and 40% (four or more cups). The coffee drinkers lowered their risk by 12%, 19%, and 41%, respectively.  

Participants who doubled up on their daily drinks were even more protected from the diabetes risk factors, according to the findings. Drinking four or more cups of green tea each day and two or more cups of coffee was associated with a 63% lower risk of death. 

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Bottom line.

This study is observational, meaning it's unclear exactly why the association occurred. Green tea and coffee do contain potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants, which may potentially play a role in these findings, or at the very least, in promoting overall health. So, pour yourself another brew, and avoid those dreaded caffeine withdrawals.

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