April 17, 2014
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Study: Caffeine may reduce risk of hypoglycemia

There's good news for java aficionados with type 1 diabetes.

A small study regarding type 1 diabetes published in the journal Diabetes Care investigated the effect of caffeine on hypoglycemia, the condition of low blood sugar levels which can cause people to feel weak, disoriented, and in some cases, can lead to loss of consciousness or seizures.

Researchers in the United Kingdom examined 19 people with long-standing type 1 diabetes. They first put them on a low caffeine diet of less than 50 mg of caffeine a day followed by two weeks in which they either took two 250 mg caffeine capsules twice a day or placebo capsules. The blood sugar levels of the patients were closely monitored.

Results showed that at night, the amount of time those who took the caffeine supplement experienced hypoglycemia was 49 minutes, whereas with the placebo, it was 132 minutes.

"Our results suggest that caffeine is associated with a significant reduction in nocturnal hypoglycemia," noted the authors.

Lead investigator Dr. Tristan Richardson said, "The use of caffeine may be one option worth trying in an attempt to reduce the frequency and length of hypoglycemia."

Richardson also said that although the caffeine connection to hypoglycemia is not scientifically clear, it may be related to the affect caffeine is known to have on people's sleep.


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