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Coffee, glucose homeostasis, and insulin resistance: physiological mechanisms and mediators

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Abstract:

Epidemiological studies show coffee consumption to be correlated to large risk reductions in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Such correlations are seen with decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee, and occur regardless of gender, method of brewing, or geography. They also exist despite clear evidence showing that caffeine causes acute postprandial hyperglycemia and lower whole-body insulin sensitivity. As the beneficial effects of coffee consumption exist for both decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee, a component of coffee other than caffeine must be responsible. This review examines the specific coffee compounds responsible for coffee’s effects on T2D, and their potential physiological mechanisms of action. Being plant-derived, coffee contains many beneficial compounds found in fruits and vegetables, including antioxidants. In fact, coffee is the largest source of dietary antioxidants in industrialized nations. When green coffee is roasted at high temperatures, Maillard reactions create a number of unique compounds. Roasting causes a portion of the antioxidant, chlorogenic acid, to be transformed into quinides, compounds known to alter blood glucose levels. Coffee consumption may also mediate levels of gut peptides (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon-like peptide-1), hormones intimately involved in the regulation of satiety and insulin secretion. Finally, coffee may have prebiotic-like properties, altering gut flora and ultimately digestion. In summary, it is evident that a better understanding of the role of coffee in the development and prevention of T2D has the potential to uncover novel therapeutic targets and nutraceutical formulations for the disease.

Des études épidémiologiques associent la consommation de café à une importante diminution de la prévalence de diabète de type 2 (T2D). Cette corrélation s’avère valable pour le café avec ou sans caféine peu importe le genre des personnes, leur lieu de résidence et la méthode d’infusion. Pourtant, des études révèlent que le café suscite une hyperglycémie postprandiale de brève durée et diminue la sensibilité de tout l’organisme à l’insuline. Si les effets de la consommation du café demeurent qu’il soit décaféiné ou non, il doit y avoir un autre ingrédient en cause dans le café. Cet article fait le tour des composantes spécifiques du café ayant un effet sur le T2D et en analyse le mécanisme d’action potentielle dans l’organisme. D’origine végétale, le café contient beaucoup de composantes retrouvées dans les fruits et les légumes dont les antioxydants. De fait, le café est la plus grande source d’antioxydants alimentaires des pays industrialisés. En torréfiant les fèves de café vert à haute température, les réactions de Maillard aboutissent à un certain nombre de composantes particulières. La torréfaction transforme une fraction de l’acide chlorogénique, un antioxydant, en quinides qui, selon la littérature scientifique, modifient la glycémie. La consommation de café conditionne aussi le taux intestinal de gluco-incrétines GIP (« glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide ») et GLP-1 (« glucagon-like peptide-1 »), des hormones étroitement associées dans la régulation de la satiété et de la sécrétion de l’insuline. Finalement, le café aurait des propriétés analogues aux prébiotiques, car il modifie la flore intestinale et, au bout du compte, la digestion. Bref, une meilleure compréhension du rôle du café dans le développement et la prévention du T2D mènera fort probablement à la découverte de moyens thérapeutiques et nutraceutiques pour lutter contre cette maladie.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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  • This bimonthly journal has a 30-year history of publishing, first as the Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences, and later as the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. It publishes original research articles, reviews, and commentaries, focussing on the application of physiology, nutrition, and metabolism to the study of human health, physical activity, and fitness. The published research, reviews, and symposia will be of interest to exercise physiologists, physical fitness and exercise rehabilitation specialists, public health and health care professionals, as well as basic and applied physiologists, nutritionists, and biochemists.
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