Daily tea consumption linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Daily tea consumption linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Regular Tea Drinking May Help Control Blood Sugar and Reduce Diabetes Risk

Drinking tea

Image Source: Drinking dark tea may help in controlling blood sugar levels. Harald Walker/Stocksy

Type 2 diabetes has become a major health concern worldwide, with the prevalence of the disease on the rise. Lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy diets and sedentary habits, are strongly associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, particularly in individuals who are aging, overweight, or obese. To reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, health experts recommend lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a healthy diet.

However, a new study conducted in China suggests that regular tea consumption, particularly dark tea, may offer additional benefits in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study, presented at the Annual Meeting of The European Association for the Study of Diabetes, examined the association between tea consumption and blood glucose control.

The research involved 1,923 participants, both men and women aged 20 to 80, from eight provinces in China. Out of these, 436 had diabetes, 352 had prediabetes, and 1,135 had healthy blood glucose levels. The study found that individuals who drank tea on a daily basis had lower levels of insulin resistance and excreted more glucose in their urine compared to those who did not consume tea. Additionally, regular tea drinkers had a 15% lower risk of prediabetes and a 28% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The benefits of tea consumption were even more pronounced in individuals who drank dark tea, which undergoes a unique fermentation process involving microorganisms. Dark teas such as Qingzhuan brick tea, Kangzhuan brick tea, Liubao tea, and Ripen Pu-erh tea had a greater impact on blood glucose regulation.

While these findings are promising, it’s important to note that this study was observational and involved a relatively small sample size. Dr. Sue Inonog, an internal medicine and primary care doctor, cautions that further research is needed to establish a cause-effect relationship between dark tea and its role in glucose regulation.

Nevertheless, the study suggests that the bioactive compounds present in dark tea may have a direct or indirect effect on glucose excretion in the kidneys, similar to the mechanisms of certain anti-diabetic medications. The researchers plan to conduct a double-blind, randomized trial to investigate the clinical effects of regular consumption of microbial fermented tea versus black tea on glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Drinking tea has long been associated with various health benefits. The polyphenols found in both black and green tea have been shown to have anti-aging properties, cardiovascular benefits, and potential protective effects against certain cancers. Adding a cup of tea to your daily routine may now also help in keeping blood glucose levels within a healthy range, thus lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

While tea consumption alone is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle, it can be a valuable addition to a well-rounded approach to diabetes prevention and management. In larger populations and future investigations, if the association between dark tea and improved glucose regulation is further supported, it could lead to valuable natural supplement options for individuals at risk or living with type 2 diabetes. In the meantime, enjoying a cup of tea can be a pleasurable and potentially health-enhancing habit.