Diabetes Self-Management Blog

In the past, we have explored the somewhat complicated relationship between coffee and diabetes, ranging from the apparent protective effect of the beverage against Type 2 diabetes and stroke to its possible negative effects on blood glucose control. Now preliminary research conducted in mice adds another piece to the puzzle: A recent study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience indicates that decaffeinated coffee may help improve the metabolism of glucose in the brain, potentially enhancing memory function in people with Type 2.

Studies have linked coffee consumption with a reduced risk of both Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer dementia, as well as with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes (which is itself a risk factor for Alzheimer disease). Because caffeine can increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions, including elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center sought to determine whether decaffeinated coffee would have similar cognitive benefits to regular coffee.

Over five months, the scientists gave mice with diet-induced diabetes a decaffeinated coffee supplement. At the end of this period, they assessed the brains of the mice and discovered that the brain cells could metabolize glucose to use for energy more effectively — a significant finding, because neurocognitive problems in people with Type 2 diabetes are often the result of reduced glucose utilization in the brain. According to lead study author Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, the results also show that not all of the health benefits associated with coffee are due to caffeine.

Pasinetti further notes that “Impaired energy metabolism in the brain is known to be tightly correlated with cognitive decline during aging and in subjects at high risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders. This is the first evidence showing the potential benefits of decaffeinated coffee preparations for both preventing and treating cognitive decline caused by Type 2 diabetes, aging, and/or neurodegenerative disorders.”

Dr. Pasinetti next hopes to study the potentially protective role of supplemental decaffeinated coffee in humans.

For more information, read the article “Decaffeinated Coffee May Help Improve Memory Function and Reduce Risk of Diabetes” or see the study’s abstract in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.


  1. I love coffee as well. But as they say, too much is not good for your body. I read in an article about the pro’s and cons of coffee (http://reallycheaphealthinsurance.com/pros-and-cons-of-a-morning-cup-of-coffee/) that sometimes when you have it too much it could skyrocket your blood pressure and may cause hypertension.

    But still, I do think that it really depends on how much you drink. We should always to keep in mind to drink moderately.

    Posted by Lara |
  2. I take blood pressure medication and drinking coffee doesnt raise it much. If you arent being treated for high blood pressure Im sure drinking a lot of coffee will raise it. Also regular coffee in large amounts will make you shaky and nervous. I drink 2 - 3 cups a day of regular coffee. I think decaffinated could be tolerated better.

    Posted by Richard |
  3. Coffee is a natural neuro-protective. It needs to be drip coffee, not instant coffee, strong and caffeinated, and lots of it.

    I have a team of neurologists that have worked with me, as I am a service-connected disabled veteran with both Type-2 diabetes and traumatic brain injury from a massive head wound suffered while on active duty.

    All of my neurologists highly recommended that I drink 4-6 cups of strong coffee per day in order to remain alert and have effective congntive abilities. When I drink coffee, I am highly functional, alert, imnproved memory, socialability, and greatly improved mental capabilities. When I don’t drink coffee, well…forget it, I can hardly even become awake or alert.

    Therefore, I buy only the best coffee and grind my own beans.

    Here are some links:





    Posted by Paul |

    Posted by Dr david sassoon |
  5. OkAY, i AM GAME. What is difference between regular coffee and decaf? Is it the dry cleaning liquid used to extract the caffiene and its residue left behind?

    This does not seem rational?

    Posted by jim snell |
  6. I think a couple people missed the point. Many of us with Type2 are at risk or already have high blood pressure. Taking regular coffee could/would be bad for us. However, the new studies are showing that decaf can still be a benefit for Type2’s without the added risk to high blood pressure. Having both problems & having been told time & again to limit my caffine, this may be a good reason to try & see if decaf can help me…

    Posted by J. Hare |
  7. Paul, I found your statement interesting. My husband and I are involved with trying to suggest
    alternative treatments to veterans with TBI and PTSD other than just prescribing absurd amounts of

    Posted by Shirley |
  8. Paul, thank you for your service to our country.

    Posted by Becky |

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