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Coffee: Drink Up to Prevent Diabetes?

Looking for another reason to justify your daily latte? A new study suggests that coffee may guard against diabetes.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, shows that coffee improves insulin sensitivity and helps prevent the development of high blood sugar - at least in lab mice.

If you think you're experiencing déjà vu, it could be because numerous studies have linked coffee - both caffeinated and decaf - with reduced risk not only of diabetes, but also of Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.

One 2004 study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was as much as 35 percent lower in people who drank four cups of coffee a day.

Pretty convincing stuff.

What remains unknown is just what's in coffee that provides the health-protective effects. It could be the caffeine, scientists say, but it could also be the antioxidants, potassium and magnesium found in coffee. More reseach is needed.

In the meantime, health experts - including those at the Mayo Clinic - recommend exercise and a healthy diet to guard against diabetes.

Not a trip to Starbucks.

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