A new Finnish study with more than 14,600 people, published in the March 10, 2004 issue of JAMA, shows that women who drank three to four cups of coffee daily had a 29% reduced risk of adult onset diabetes. With 10 or more cups a day, their risk was reduced by nearly 80%. Among men, three to four cups lowered their risk by 27%; a 55% reduced risk was associated with consumption of 10 or more cups.

The findings from the National Public Health Institute (Helsinki) are similar to results from other recent studies. This year, Harvard researchers noted that a study with 125,000 people found men who drank six cups a day cut their diabetes risk by half over 12 to 18 years, while women who drank that amount had a 30% lowered risk. A recent Dutch study also found similar effects.

The study's authors said the reasons for the apparent beneficial effects remain unclear, though it was possible that chlorogenic acid in coffee may indirectly help regulate blood glucose levels. It is also well documented that caffeine stimulates insulin secretion by the pancreas, the report said.