Could filtered coffee help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes? That is a question being asked by researchers in Sweden.

The research team suggest that consuming filtered coffee may allow people to benefit from a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers investigated how people had different levels of metabolites depending on the type of coffee they consumed. The researchers looked at filtered coffee and boiled coffee.

Filter coffee involves pouring hot water over ground coffee placed above a filter. The researchers hypothesise that the filter may positively affect the level of metabolites within people.

Boiled coffee is simply adding boiling water to ground coffee directly into a cup. Boiled coffee may have similarities to how espresso, cafetière, and percolator coffee is made, however, more research would be needed to test if results were the same.

​Professor Rikard Landberg, Professor in Food Science at Chalmers, and Affiliated Professor at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University, said: “We have identified specific molecules – ‘biomarkers’ – in the blood of those taking part in the study, which indicate the intake of different sorts of coffee.

“These biomarkers are then used for analysis when calculating type 2 diabetes risk. Our results now clearly show that filtered coffee has a positive effect in terms of reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But boiled coffee does not have this effect.”

Using these biomarkers, the research team showed that those who drank between two to three cups of filtered coffee per day had a 60% lower chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, when compared with those who only drank one.

Consuming boiled coffee showed no impact on the diabetes risk. However, the researchers did note that the lack of association might be affected by the limited number of boiled coffee consumers in the population in the study.

Prof Landberg stated that other studies have looked at a type of molecule found in boiled coffee, called diterpenes, which have been associated with heart and vascular diseases.

Professor Landberg added: “It has been shown that when you filter coffee, the diterpenes are captured in the filter. As a result, you get the health benefits of the many other molecules present, such as different phenolic substances. In moderate amounts, caffeine also has positive health effects.”

The team want to explore diterpenes further to see whether they influence glucose metabolism and affect the risk of diabetes.

The findings have been published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

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