Coffee and Health: Pregnancy and Diabetes

Is coffee inherently a dangerous substance, and should caffeine be stripped from our diets? There are some who say yes, and others who ignore all that. We are true coffee addicts and would be hard-pressed to give it up, but we are always interested in new data on caffeine.

So we couldn't avoid the two health alerts in the last week about coffee. The first is about diabetes and the other is a warning to pregnant women.

UK researchers announced results of a study that shows coffee may raise blood sugar in diabetics. The effect that they found was especially pronounced in the evenings. The key element of course is the caffeine; does cutting caffeine help control blood sugar levels? The researchers feel that more research is necessary to say conclusively, but there may be a correlation.

In other caffeine-related news, a study was released a week ago that ties increased rates of miscarriage and pregnancy issues to caffeine consumption. It is fairly standard in the West for pregnant women to completely go off caffeine, or to stick to decaf coffee, which has a small amount of caffeine. This study bolsters that accepted wisdom. Even though the data is not completely unambiguous, it supports again that in coffee and caffeine, like most other things, moderation is key.

We're not giving up our coffee any time soon, but we did switch from 2 or 3 cups of drip brew coffee to one small, rich cup of French press in the mornings.

(Image: BBC News)

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Drinks, Coffee, Healthy Living

Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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