Nestlé scientists find that coffee helps to reduce insulin resistance in healthy men

To other newsLausanne, Switzerland,Jan 23, 2014

As part of Nestlé’s commitment to nutrition, health and wellness, Nestlé scientists study food ingredients, nutritional solutions and programmes that reduce the risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Nestlé scientists in collaboration with Lausanne University Hospital and the University of Bern, Switzerland, provides valuable insight into the protective role of coffee. It shows for the first time that consumption of soluble coffee alleviates hepatic insulin resistance, an underlying cause of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Epidemiological studies have previously shown a consistent correlation between coffee consumption and a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. A recently published meta-analysis which reviewed 31 human studies, confirmed that this association is statistically significant. A beneficial effect on diabetes has also been observed with decaffeinated coffee, indicating that components in coffee, other than caffeine, may play a protective role. Indeed, the polyphenol chlorogenic acid has been considered responsible for some of coffee’s metabolic effects. The current study furthers our understanding by providing a mechanism to explain coffee’s effects on the development of insulin resistance.

A major function of insulin is to regulate uptake of glucose by cells. In conditions of insulin-resistance, cells no longer respond to insulin appropriately and hyperglycemia results. In the present study, scientists examined the effect of coffee consumption on the function of the liver, an organ which plays a central role in glucose homeostasis.

More specifically, the effect of three different soluble coffees - two coffees which had a high chlorogenic acid content with or without caffeine, and one coffee that had a regular chlorogenic acid content - were studied for their effects on a model of insulin resistance in 13 healthy male subjects. It was demonstrated for the first time, that consumption of soluble coffee significantly attenuates the increase in fasting glucose production by the liver. Interestingly, this effect was not related to the caffeine or chlorogenic acid content but may be due to the presence of other bioactive components in the coffee. None of the 3 coffees had an effect on intrahepatocellular lipids.

This human study describes the effects of coffee consumption on symptoms of diabetes in the liver. This physiological effect was observed in short-term induced insulin resistance in healthy volunteers. Further studies in individuals suffering from chronic insulin resistance are required to confirm long term beneficial effects in pathological conditions.  Nevertheless, this preliminary study provides new information to help explain the association between coffee consumption and a reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes.



Article reference:

Virgile Lecoultre, Guillaume Carrel, Léonie Egli, Christophe Binnert, Andreas Boss, Erin L MacMillan, Roland Kreis, Chris Boesch,, Christian Darimont, and Luc Tappy. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013. Coffee consumption attenuates short-term fructose-induced liver insulin resistance in healthy men.

Related information:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition