Coffee: A Dietary Intervention on Type 2 Diabetes?

Curr Med Chem. 2017;24(4):376-383. doi: 10.2174/0929867323666161003123717.


Coffee beverages, prepared in a multitude of ways around the world, are increasingly part of our daily lives. Although considered an unhealthy beverage for decades, coffee is increasingly the headline of medical journals in association with a reduced risk for several diseases. What if this beverage could give us pleasure, while modulating mood and lowering the risk for several diseases of the modern society, including type 2 diabetes (T2D)? Based on the most recent epidemiological and research data, long-term consumption of coffee beverages is associated with a lower risk of developing T2D in healthy individuals, probably involving multiple mechanisms, with interventions on glucose homeostasis, antioxidant activity, and inflammatory biomarkers. Several coffee constituents potentially responsible for these effects are described, as well as the factors that make their presence highly variable, with interesting effects associated with chlorogenic acids, trigonelline and norharman. Due to the high number of compounds contained in coffee, we explore the potential synergic effect within the coffee matrix. Moreover, acute coffee consumption shows different health effects from those achieved on a long-term daily consumption, and not all coffee beverages are similar. Still, despite the huge amount or work developed in the last decade, the substances and mechanisms behind these protective effects on T2D are still to be fully elucidated, being therefore soon for dietary interventions based on coffee.

Keywords: Coffee; adiponectine; chlorogenic acids; glucose homeostasis; insulin resistance; lactones; norharman; trigonelline.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coffee* / chemistry
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / prevention & control
  • Diet*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans


  • Coffee