Luca Mascitelli, MD; Francesca Pezzetta, MD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Mascitelli L., Pezzetta F.; Green Tea, Coffee, and Diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145:634. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-145-8-200610170-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(8):634.
TO THE EDITOR:
Iso and colleagues (1) found significant and inverse associations between green tea and coffee consumption and the risk for type 2 diabetes. We suggest that some of the mechanisms involved in this beneficial association might be related to the reduced iron absorption induced by tea and coffee. These beverages have been shown to strongly inhibit the absorption of nonheme iron (2-4). On the other hand, serum ferritin, a good indicator of iron stored in the body, has been shown to be associated with an increased risk for diabetes (5). Furthermore, a small intervention study in patients with type 2 diabetes and elevated ferritin levels showed that bloodletting, which resulted in a 50% reduction of serum ferritin concentrations, improved glycemia and insulin sensitivity (6). Thus, increased intake of tea and coffee may maintain a relatively low iron status and may therefore reduce the risk for diabetes.
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