The daily, if not hourly, challenge for those with diabetes is maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels.
Can increasing coffee consumption or taking the extract of unroasted coffee beans reduce glucose levels?
Joe Vinson, PhD, a University of Scranton researcher, believes that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and control elevated blood sugar levels.
Vinson points to chlorogenic acids, chemical compounds that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, including apples and cherries. The acids are also present in large amounts in green or unroasted coffee beans.
High temperatures traditionally used to roast coffee beans break down the chlorogenic acids, reported the study. Researchers are now working on ways to tap into the almost magical powers of the acids from concentrated extracts of green coffee beans, which have the higher amounts of the acid.
"One large study indicated a 50 percent risk reduction [of developing type 2 diabetes] for people who drank seven cups of coffee a day compared to those who drank only two cups of coffee," Vinson told Science Daily.
A pill instead of a cup?
For those individuals who don't want to drink that much coffee, Vinson imagines a day when a compound from the chlorogenic acids is readily available. (There are multiple products available today in the supplement market.)
"A simple natural pill or capsule that would both help control blood sugar and foster weight loss at the same time would be a major advance in the treatment of type 2 diabetes," Vinson said. "Our own research and studies published by other scientists suggest that such a treatment may, indeed, exist. There is significant epidemiological and other evidence that coffee consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
"The evidence points to chlorogenic acids as the active ingredients in coffee that both prevent diabetes and improve glucose control in normal, pre-diabetic and diabetic people," added Vinson.
Researchers, including Vinson, have long been on the scientific bandwagon for the health benefits of these acids, which are also found in black tea.
Vinson and fellow researchers presented this information at the 2013 National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society. Vinson's conference portfolio notes that he has received funding from Applied Food Sciences, Inc., which markets a green coffee antioxidant supplement.