Caffeine, Sugar A Bad Mix

Not long ago, I warned you coffee and caffeine are far less dangerous to your health than fruit juice or soda. A new study featured in this month's Diabetes Care may explain why. Canadian researchers have discovered one's intake of caffeine makes insulin more resistant to changing blood sugar levels.

Even more distressing: This resistance was found in patients with and without diabetes and couldn't be reversed with regular exercise or losing weight.

Blood sugar levels were studied in 23 men, two-thirds of whom were obese, before and after a three-month exercise program. Prior to and during the exercise regimen, patients were given a placebo or caffeine. After exercising, insulin sensitivity with caffeine in the mix fell in the three groups as much as 36 percent (the highest among diabetic males). Before exercising, insulin sensitivity fell in a range from 33-37 percent in all groups.

These results may conflict with previous studies, including one I posted recently that found coffee may prevent liver cancer. However, the chemical composition of coffee, which includes such variables as potassium, magnesium and antioxidants, could render it less harmful, and not affect insulin resistance, researchers said.

Diabetes Care March 2005, Volume 28, Number 3: 566-572

Yahoo News March 18, 2005

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