Daily green tea or coffee could lower the risk of death for consumers with diabetes, study finds

Photo (c) Alina Rosanova - Getty Images

Experts found that a few caffeinated beverages each morning could do more than just give consumers an energy boost

Whether it’s coffee or tea, many consumers start their mornings with a caffeinated drink. Now, a new study has found that this daily ritual could come with some unexpected health benefits. 

According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), drinking green tea or coffee each day is linked with a lower risk of death for consumers with type 2 diabetes. 

“In this prospective study, we found that higher green tea and coffee consumption was significantly associated with decreased all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. “This association remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders: the impact of each beverage on mortality was independent.” 

Benefits of caffeinated beverages

To understand the health benefits associated with drinking green tea and coffee, the researchers tracked the health of over 4,900 participants with type 2 diabetes for five years. The participants self-reported on their daily food and drink consumption, and the researchers evaluated their height, weight, and blood pressure. 

The researchers learned that drinking green tea and coffee -- particularly in large quantities -- was associated with the lowest risk of death from any cause. While it may seem like too much caffeine, the study revealed that those who drank at least four cups of green tea and at least two cups of coffee each day reduced their risk of death by over 60 percent. 

Even choosing just one of the beverages was linked with a lower risk of death; however, the more the participants drank each day, the more they reduced their risk of death. For example, having one cup of green tea every day lowered the risk of mortality by 15 percent, but increasing the green tea intake to four cups a day reduced the risk of death by 40 percent. The findings were similar with coffee, as having one coffee per day lowered the risk of death by 12 percent, but having two or more coffees reduced the risk of death by 41 percent. 

The researchers are unsure why this trend emerged between green tea, coffee, and diabetes health risks, but they explained that the biological make-up of both beverages are associated with anti-inflammatory properties, which could be why they’re so beneficial to consumers’ health. 

“The mechanisms underlying reduced mortality with green tea and coffee consumption are not fully understood,” the researchers wrote. “Green tea contains a number of beneficial substances, including phenolic compounds, theanine, and caffeine. Coffee also contains numerous bioactive components, including phenolic compounds and caffeine, which have been suggested as contributing to the associated favorable effects.” 

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