Drinking 4 cups of tea a day may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

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Drinking several cups of tea a day can reduce the risk of diabetes, according to a new study. Catherine Falls Publicity/Getty Images
  • Researchers have studied the effects of drinking different types of tea, such as green tea, oolong tea, and black tea, on the risk of diabetes.
  • They found that drinking 1 to 3 cups of tea slightly lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes, but drinking 4 or more cups of tea a day was linked to a 17% lower risk.
  • However, further study is needed to confirm the results.

According to the World Health Organization, about 422 million people live with diabetes around the world. The most common type is type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin or becomes insulin resistant and cannot easily absorb insulin from the blood.

Some studies have shown that consumption tea and coffee is linked to reduced all-cause mortality. Other to research indicates that daily consumption of green tea is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and a lower risk of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes.

Further study of the effects of tea and dosage on diabetes risk in large populations could inform preventive care strategies for diabetes.

Recently, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 19 cohort studies in eight countries to investigate the effects of black, green, and oolong tea consumption on the risk of type 2 diabetes.

They found that drinking 4 or more cups of tea a day can reduce the risk of diabetes.

“Drinking tea does not appear to be harmful and may confer a small benefit in reducing the risk of diabetes,” said Dr. Kashif M. Munir, associate professor of medicine at the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at the University of Maryland, which did not participate in the study. , Told Medical News Today“Other polyphenol-rich foods have shown similar effects.”

The meta-analysis was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 5,199 adult participants of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. The participants were not diabetic at the start of the study and were followed from 1997 to 2009. Their tea consumption was collected from questionnaires.

A total of 45.76% of participants reported drinking tea and 10.04% of the cohort developed type 2 diabetes during the study period.

After adjusting for factors such as age, sex and lifestyle, the researchers found that tea drinkers had a similar risk of type 2 diabetes as those who did not drink tea.

Next, the researchers conducted a systematic review of 19 cohort studies with 1,076,311 participants that investigated the link between type 2 diabetes risk and tea drinking.

They were able to explore the relationship between the risk of type 2 diabetes and the consumption of different types of tea, including green tea, oolong tea and black tea, the frequency of tea consumption, gender and location of life.

Researchers found that those who drank 1 to 3 cups of tea a day had a 4% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers.

However, those who drank four or more cups of tea a day had a 17% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than non-tea drinkers.

The researchers noted that their results remained regardless of type of tea, gender, and location. This, they noted, suggests that the beneficial effects of tea on diabetes risk may be related to the amount consumed, as opposed to other factors.

When asked how drinking tea can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Dr. Munir replied:

“Tea is known to contain dietary polyphenols, such as EGCG, which have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve endothelial function ([which is] important for regulating the immune response, blood clotting, and the dilation or constriction of blood vessels). These effects may have beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis and improve the risk of diabetes.

Other studies found that green tea can lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production in mice. Meanwhile, black tea is known to have high levels of theaflavinswhich have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Black tea may also inhibit obesity, a risk factor for diabetes, by promoting transition from white fat to brown fat, thus promoting weight loss, blood sugar regulation and fat metabolism.

The researchers concluded that daily tea consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Asked about the limitations of the study, Professor Peter Clifton, adjunct professor of clinical and health sciences at the University of South Australia, who was also not involved in the study, said DTM that this study being epidemiological in nature, it can only highlight possible links.

He added that randomized, double-blind, controlled trials of dried tea extract capsules versus placebos would need to be monitored over several years to yield conclusive results.

“Suggesting drinking tea or coffee as a lifestyle intervention won’t work because people won’t suddenly change their ingrained habits of non-tea drinking. So no reason to give it up, but not much evidence to accept it.
—Professor Peter Clifton

Dr. Munir added that the initial smaller cohort study did not show the benefits of tea drinking, as observing small effects in large populations often requires larger numbers of participants.

“The meta-analysis included over one million participants from 19 studies and showed benefits with higher levels of tea consumption associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes. Larger studies, like this one, are often needed to unravel a small benefit of a particular food,” he continued.

“However, the limitations are that we don’t know if food is causative or simply an association with lower rates of developing diabetes and many biases can interfere with non-randomized studies,” he concluded.

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