Evidence suggests coffee, green tea might reduce risk of death in diabetes patients

The findings come as part of a recent study of people with Type 2 diabetes

With an export industry alone that is worth $20 billion, chances are a lot of people drink too much coffee.

A recent study shows building evidence that coffee and green tea could benefit diabetes patients.

Japanese researchers have investigated the link between drinking coffee and green tea and the death risk of people with diabetes, Medical News Today reported.

In the study, scientists reviewed data from the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry and used 4,923 participants with Type 2 diabetes. The participants were at least 20 years old and on average were 66 years old. Among the vast information participants provided were how often they exercised, body mass index, blood pressure, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, depression symptoms and information on existing health conditions. They also gave information about their diet, including whether or not they drank coffee or green tea. Four or more cups of green tea and two or more cups of coffee daily were considered high consumption.

The results, which were published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, showed those who drank more than one cup of green tea or coffee each day had decreased odds of dying from any cause compared to people who didn’t drink either of the beverages. Drinking more of both green tea and coffee had the lowest risk of death.

“[H]igher green tea and coffee consumption was significantly associated with decreased all-cause mortality in [people] with type 2 diabetes," researchers said.

Dr. Minisha Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who wasn’t involved in the study, but is familiar with the findings, told HealthDay News that the “positive effects of green tea are not specific to people with diabetes."

“It has been shown in multiple population studies that people in Japan who consume significant amounts of green tea experience a lower mortality rate from all causes and cardiovascular disease,” she said.

Sood also noted that since the study focused on the Japanese population, its findings may not apply to people in the U.S. She said the quality of the green tea and the Japanese population may be different.

“It is also important to be cautious when interpreting the findings of this study because this group of patients was, on average, non-obese patients with controlled blood pressure,” she said.

Researchers acknowledged the study’s limitations, which included possible errors related to recall and no collection about details relating to factors that could have influenced the results. They include education level and household income.

“Higher educational or income levels may be associated with greater coffee consumption; they may also be related to lower mortality risk," the authors said.