Americans love coffee. The only liquid consumed more than coffee is water. Not only does the caffeine keep you awake and keep Starbucks shareholders happy, it turns out that caffeine has some other healthy effects.

Regular caffeine consumption will reduce the risk of colon,uterine and prostate cancer. Not only that but there is some research out there which indicates that caffeine may even reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, depression and dementia.

Recently, it was shown that drinking as little as one extra cup of caffeinated coffee reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 11%. This was independent of body weight or amount of exercise completed.

What is it about caffeine that reduces the risk of diabetes? It turns out that a funny sounding chemical, polyphenol, helps the body make better use of the insulin. Also, there is quite a bit of magnesium and antioxidants in caffeine. These seem to ward off diabetes as well.

Yes, this study was peer reviewed and published in a well known journal, Diabetologia. I really don’t know whether any of the researchers received money from the coffee industry or endless supplies of Starbucks cappuccinos. Unfortunately for those who prefer decaffeinated versions, that does not reduce the diabetes risk. Whether caffeine in other drinks such as Coca cola has the same benefits is unknown.

Of course some great minds will think: Geez, now I can pig out at the local hamburger joint, not go to the gym and just hang out drinking coffee. Wrong! A healthy diet and regular exercise are still the best ways to ward off diabetes and multiple other illnesses.