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Caffeine Consumption Hikes Blood Sugar Levels by 8 Percent for Diabetics

Thursday, June 12, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: caffeine, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Diabetics who consume caffeine may experience a significant increase in blood sugar, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Duke University Medical School and published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Researchers placed tiny blood sugar monitors under the skin of 10 people with Type 2 diabetes, which allowed the participants' glucose levels to be tracked over the course of a normal 72-hour period. Participants were given a caffeine pill one day, and a placebo pill the next.

When given the caffeine pill, the participants experienced an 8 percent rise in blood sugar levels. The increase was even stronger after meals, with blood sugar increasing 9 percent after breakfast, 15 percent after lunch and 26 percent after dinner. The increase in blood sugar was not observed in those taking a placebo pill.

The amount of caffeine contained in the pill was roughly equivalent to the caffeine contained in four cups of coffee.

Prior studies have shown that caffeine could increase the body's insulin resistance, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. In people without diabetes, however, this effect is fairly minor. In diabetics, any increase in insulin resistance can have serious consequences.

The researchers are now planning to conduct a larger trial to study if diabetics can manage their blood sugar better by removing caffeine from their diets.

"My advice would be, if patients are having trouble controlling their blood glucose and they are coffee drinkers, particularly heavy coffee drinkers, they might want to give it a try to see if it makes a difference to them," lead researcher James Lane said.

The reason that caffeine causes a spike in blood sugar is not yet fully understood. According to Lane, caffeine might interfere with the mechanisms that remove glucose from the blood. Alternately, caffeine consumption might cause the body to release adrenaline, which is known to cause a rise in blood sugar levels.

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