By Serena Gordon
THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — If you’ve got type 2 diabetes and love drinking green tea or coffee, new research suggests you may be reducing your odds of a premature death.
But you need to really love these drinks. The study found that having four or more cups of green tea along with two cups of coffee daily was linked to a 63% lower risk of death during the average five-year follow-up.
On their own, a single cup of coffee or green tea daily might lower your risk of early death by 12% to 15%, respectively.
“Familiar beverages such as green tea and coffee may have health-promoting effects. We have shown that higher consumption of green tea and coffee was associated with reduced all-cause mortality, and their combined effect appeared to be additive in people with type 2 diabetes,” said lead author Dr. Yuji Komorita, an assistant professor at Kyushu University’s Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Fukuoka, Japan.
Komorita said it’s unknown how either drink may aid health. Both contain nutrients that may reduce inflammation, among other healthful benefits. Since coffee and green tea together were linked to an even lower risk of early death, Komorita suggested that each may have different beneficial substances that act on different diseases.
But Komorita added an important caveat: This study was not designed to prove cause and effect. As an observational study, it can only find an association.
Komorita also pointed out that researchers didn’t have a lot of information about participants that could affect the findings, such as their education, income and family history.
The study included almost 5,000 Japanese adults (average age: 66) with type 2 diabetes. Almost 2,800 were men. Their health was followed for about 5 years.
Participants completed a lengthy food and drink questionnaire that asked how much green tea and coffee they had daily. They were also asked lifestyle questions, such as how much exercise they did, alcohol and smoking habits, and how much sleep they typically got.
Only about 600 participants didn’t drink green tea. About 1,000 didn’t drink coffee.
Of those who sipped green tea, more than 1,100 drank up to a cup a day, almost 1,400 had two to three and nearly 1,800 drank four or more cups each day, the findings showed. For coffee drinkers, 1,300 had up to a single cup daily, more than 960 had one cup and 1,660 had two or more a day.
During the follow-up period, just over 300 participants died.
Compared to people who didn’t drink either beverage, participants who had green tea or coffee were less likely to die during the study, the researchers found. Those who drank both had the largest reductions in death risk.
And, the more you drank, the lower your odds of dying, the study found. Folks who had more than four cups of green tea daily had a 40% lower risk — the same as those who had two or more cups