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UCLA Study Explains Why Coffee Can Keep You From Getting Type 2 Diabetes

WESTWOOD (CBS) —  Researchers have believed for some time now that drinking coffee could help prevent the onset of Type II diabetes, and researchers at UCLA have just identified why.

And the magic ingredient is a protein, called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).

A UCLA doctoral student in epidemiology and his professor published an article in the journal "Diabetes" Saturday, that shows women who drink four cups of coffee per day are less than half as likely to develop adult-onset diabetes as those who abstain from java.

The protective effect diminished as levels of SHBG was eliminated, according to first author Atsushi Goto and UCLA Dr. Simon Liu.

Earlier studies have shown that the more coffee in the diet, the less propensity for Type II diabetes, which affects 8 percent of adults in the United States. It had already been discovered that the level of SHBG in the bloodstream of women, which is a genetic factor, affects the onset of the blood sugar disease.

"We now further show that this protein can be influenced by dietary factors such as coffee intake," Liu said.

The study showed that the diabetes-fighting benefits of coffee were eliminated if the drinkers chose decaffinated brews. "So you probably have to go for the octane," Goto said.

 (©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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