Tea and Diabetes

Green teaAccording to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 20.8 million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes. It’s a number that represents about seven percent of the nation’s overall population. With these figures in mind, the results of a study showing that a component in tea might counterbalance cell-damaging effects of high fructose corn syrup come as welcome news.

Researchers at Rutgers University conducted the study, which also discovered that beverages containing HFCS might increase the risk of contracting diabetes. This is likely due to a component called reactive carbonyls. While the best use for tea would be as a substitute for such beverages, researchers found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound found in tea, had a tendency to lower the amount of reactive carbonyls in such beverages. Of all of the beverages that contain HFCS, the carbonated ones contain the largest amount of reactive carbonyls while non-carbonated tea beverages contain the least.

Another study, by scientists at Scotland’s Dundee University and the Scottish Crop Research Institute, discovered that theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea mimic insulin action on proteins called foxos. Researchers said results were positive but said additional research would be necessary.

Another study found that black and green tea both showed results when it came to lowering blood sugar in rats. The results appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In the study, diabetic rats were given black and green tea for three months in amounts that would be equivalent to 36 ounces a day for a 143-pound person. In addition to lowering blood sugar, the tea also tended to inhibit diabetic cataracts.

A study by Japanese researchers discovered that green tea promotes glucose metabolism in humans and lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. Another study on rats found that branded green tea supplements given over a period of eight weeks resulted in less abdominal fat and lowered levels of sugar, fat, and insulin in the bloodstream. A study by researchers at the USDA’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center found that the polyphenols in black, green, and oolong tea all helped to increase insulin activity.

See what else William has to say on his blog, Tea Guy Speaks!

One thought on “Tea and Diabetes

  1. Pingback: Recent Research on Tea and Health « Tea Blog

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