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Chocolate and Coffee May Help Delay Type 2 Diabetes


If you enjoy adding a dash of cocoa powder to your coffee, new scientific findings are sure to make your day. Studies have discovered that protection against diabetes may come from some unexpected sources — chocolate and coffee.

Cocoa Compounds Delay Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

It may sound too good to be true, but researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) found certain compounds in cocoa stimulated the release of more insulin. As insulin is the hormone critically needed for blood glucose management, this action may improve blood sugar levels, which theoretically could help prevent or reduce the severity of type 2 diabetes.

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The root cause of diabetes is the failure of pancreatic beta cells to manufacture enough insulin. Cocoa comes to the rescue because it contains epicatechin monomers, a compound that enables these cells to remain stronger and work better.

Here is the catch: “You probably have to eat a lot of cocoa, and you probably don’t want it to have a lot of sugar in it,” said study author Jeffery Tessem, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science at BYU. “It’s the compound in cocoa you’re after.”

First, collaborators at Virginia Tech fed epicatechin monomers to animals on a high-fat diet. They noticed it reduced the rate of obesity and improved the capacity to cope with high blood glucose levels. Following this discovery, the BYU team found the beta cell effect when they explored what was happening on the cellular level.

Since chocolate products are usually high in sugar, the researchers intend to look for ways to take the beneficial compound out of cocoa and potentially use it to treat diabetic patients. The study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Coffee Compounds Also Delay Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

Some studies have suggested that consuming three or four cups of coffee may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While initially, researchers attributed the benefit to caffeine, later findings indicate that other compounds may play a more important role. In a previous study, scientists determined the coffee compound cafestol boosted insulin secretion by pancreatic cells when they were exposed to glucose. Cafestol also boosted the uptake of glucose in muscle cells as effectively as a popular antidiabetic drug.

Researchers in the current study wanted to ascertain if cafestol could aid in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes in mice. They divided the mice into three groups: one was a control group, and the other two groups were fed different doses of cafestol. After 10 weeks, both groups that received the cafestol had healthier blood glucose levels and increased capacity to secrete insulin compared to the control group. In addition, the cafestol didn’t cause low blood sugar, which is a side effect of some antidiabetic medications. Consequently, the research team concluded that the compound may be partly responsible for the reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in coffee drinkers. The study was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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