A new study found that regular caffeine consumption was linked to women living longer compared to those who drank no caffeine at all.
The research, presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Lisbon, found no such association between caffeine and men with diabetes.
In the study, experts from the University of Porto and colleagues across Portugal looked at caffeine and death rates in more than 3,000 men and women with diabetes.
The people in the study reported their caffeine intake from coffee, tea, and soft drinks over 24 hours at the point they enrolled in the research.
During an 11-year follow-up, 618 people died.
Researchers found that women who consumed up to 100mg of caffeine per day (around one regular cup of instant coffee) were 51 per cent less likely to die from any cause, increasing to 57 per cent for those who drank 100mg to 200mg per day.
Higher amounts (over 200mg per day) led to a 66 per cent reduced risk of death.
Analysis showed that coffee-drinking was linked to a lower risk of death from any cause, particularly cardiovascular disease, while women who consumed more caffeine from tea appeared to be less likely to die from cancer.
The authors said: “Our study showed a dose-dependent protective effect of caffeine consumption on all-cause mortality among women.
“The effect on mortality appears to depend on the source of caffeine, with a protective effect of coffee consumption on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality, and a protective effect of caffeine from tea on cancer mortality among women with diabetes.
“However, our observational study cannot prove that caffeine reduces the risk of death but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect.”
The research has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Other research presented at the conference suggests swine flu may trigger the onset of Type 1 diabetes, which requires people to take insulin.
Another small study on 27 people also found that consuming large amounts of artificial sweeteners may increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
In a separate study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), experts from the University of Glasgow said Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with weight loss of around 15kg (2st 5lb) often producing total remission of the condition.