Ling Zheng, Kun Huang and colleagues say previous studies show people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily have a 50 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Every additional cup of coffee decreases the risk by almost 7 percent, the researchers said.
Scientists said the misfolding of the substance human islet amyloid polypeptide has been increasingly considered a pathogenic process in type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, identified two categories of compounds in coffee that significantly inhibited human islet amyloid polypeptide.
The findings suggest this explains why coffee drinkers show a lower risk for developing diabetes.
"A beneficial effect may thus be expected for a regular coffee drinker," the researchers concluded.