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[IP] Caffeine Disturbs Blood Sugar Hormone

Original article:


Caffeine Disturbs Blood Sugar Hormone 

By Michael  Smith, MD
WebMD Medical News  Reviewed By Gary Vogin, MD  

Feb. 6, 2002 -- Caffeine is one of the most widely used "drugs" in the
world. And now researchers have found that caffeine affects how well insulin
-- the hormone that regulates blood sugar -- works in the body. 

Caffeine is able to enter the brain and directly increase blood pressure and
stimulate the release of stress hormones. These hormones are known to affect
insulin and blood sugar in the body. So the researchers investigated whether
caffeine has any harmful effects on blood sugar metabolism. 

Lead researcher Gerben B. Keijzers, MD, and colleagues gave either caffeine
or a placebo -- through a vein in the arm -- to 12 healthy volunteers. They
then measured blood levels of insulin and stress hormones. 

The caffeine was given at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram. For a 120 pound
woman, that's equal to 160 mg of caffeine. For a 170 pound man, that's 230

The researchers then calculated insulin sensitivity. This is a measure of
how well the body is using insulin. When insulin sensitivity goes down, this
indicates that your body is less able to take blood sugar into the cells to
be used for energy. 

Caffeine decreased insulin sensitivity by 15%, a significant decline
compared to placebo. Plus, stress hormone levels in the blood increased with
caffeine. Blood pressure increased to a small degree as well. 

A brewed 7 oz. cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine. A 12 oz. cup of
iced tea has 70 mg. Here are some examples of caffeine amounts in various
soft drinks: 

Mountain Dew   55 mg 

Coca-Cola      46 mg 

Mr. Pibb        41 mg 

Dr. Pepper     40 mg 

Pepsi-Cola     37 mg 

It's important to keep in mind that these were healthy people. The question
of whether caffeine might decrease insulin sensitivity and thus raise blood
sugar in someone with diabetes is still unanswered. The results of this
study suggest that it might. 

) 2002 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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