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Artificial sweeteners could raise risk of diabetes


Women with diabetes who drink a cup of tea or coffee a day can expect to live a longer life, research suggests.

Experts found that regular caffeine consumption was linked to women living longer compared to those who drank no caffeine at all.

The research, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Lisbon, found no such association between caffeine and men with diabetes.

Experts from the University of Porto looked at caffeine and death rates in more than 3,000 men and women with diabetes.

The people in the study reported their caffeine intake from coffee, tea, and soft drinks over 24 hours at the point they enrolled in the research.

They were the tracked for the following 11 years.

The researchers found that women who consumed the equivalent of one cup coffee a day were 51 per cent less likely to die during the 11 years, increasing to 57 per cent for those two cups, and 66 per cent for more.

Analysis showed that coffee-drinking was linked to a lower risk of death from any cause, particularly cardiovascular disease, while women who consumed more caffeine from tea appeared to be less likely to die from cancer.

The authors said: ‘Our study showed a dose-dependent protective effect of caffeine consumption on all-cause mortality among women.

‘The effect on mortality appears to depend on the source of caffeine, with a protective effect of coffee consumption on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality, and a protective effect of caffeine from tea on cancer mortality among women with diabetes.

‘However, our observational study cannot prove that caffeine reduces the risk of death but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect.’

The researchers did not look at exactly why caffeine had such an impact, but previous studies have suggested the the other antioxidant plant compounds in tea and coffee – rather than the caffeine itself- is probably responsible for the benefits.

Coffee contains a number of compounds which interact with the body, including diterpenes and antioxidants, and scientists believe some of these have a protective impact.

Other studies have found similar benefits among those drinking decaffeinated versions – leading scientists to conclude that the antioxidant plant compounds may provide the most benefit.

Emily Burns, head of research communications at Diabetes UK, said: ‘More research is needed to establish if there is a link between caffeine and a reduced risk of death for women with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and to investigate why. For now, we don’t know if caffeine is directly responsible.

‘The best way to manage diabetes is by taking medication as prescribed, following a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly.’


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