Coffee lovers, rejoice! Scientists have identified compound in the beverage that may cut risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark also found that one of these previously untested compounds appears to improve cell function and insulin sensitivity in laboratory mice.
The finding could spur the development of new drugs to treat or even prevent the disease.
Previous studies show that a compound in coffee called cafestol increased insulin secretion in pancreatic cells when they were exposed to glucose.
Cafestol also increased glucose uptake in muscle cells just as effectively as a commonly prescribed anti diabetic drug.
Researchers wanted to see if cafestol would help prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in mice.
They divided mice that are prone to develop Type 2 diabetes into three groups. Two of the groups were fed differing doses of cafestol.
After 10 weeks, both sets of cafestol-fed mice had lower blood glucose levels and improved insulin secretory capacity compared to a control group, which was not given the compound.
Cafestol also did not result in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, a possible side effect of some anti diabetic medications.
The researchers conclude that daily consumption of cafestol can delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in these mice, and that it is a good candidate for drug development to treat or prevent the disease in humans.
The study was published in the journal Journal of Natural Products.