Consuming dark tea may help control blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes

Drinking black tea every day may help reduce the risk and progression of type 2 diabetes in people by improving blood sugar control, according to new research. Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and Southeast University in China found that daily dark tea drinkers had a 53 percent lower risk of prediabetes and a 47 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, even after controlling for established risk factors such as age. , gender, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), mean arterial blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and cholesterol.

“Several studies in recent years have reported substantial health benefits of tea, including reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms underlying these benefits remain unclear,” says Associate Professor, co-lead author of the study. Tongzhi Wu from the University of Adelaide and Hospital Research Foundation Group Mid-Career Fellow.

“Our findings indicate protective effects of habitual tea drinking on blood sugar management through increased urinary glucose excretion, improved insulin resistance and thus better control of blood sugar. These benefits were most pronounced among those who drank dark tea daily.

These beneficial effects on metabolic control may result from the unique method of producing dark tea, which involves microbial fermentation, a process that allows unique bioactive compounds (alkaloids, free amino acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides and their derivatives) to exhibit potent antioxidants. Including). and anti-inflammatory effects, improving both insulin sensitivity and the performance of beta cells in the pancreas, and changing the composition of bacteria in the gut.

The latest cross-sectional study involved 1,923 community-dwelling adults (562 men, 1,361 women aged 20–80 years) from 8 provinces in China. Overall, 436 participants had diabetes and 352 had prediabetes, and 1,135 had normal blood sugar levels.

Participants included non-habitual tea drinkers and those with a history of drinking only one type of tea. They were asked about the frequency of tea consumption (i.e. never, sometimes, often and every day) and type (i.e. green, black, dark or other tea).

Researchers examined the association between the frequency and type of tea consumption and urinary glucose excretion (assessed by morning spot urine glucose-to-creatine ratio). [UGCR]), insulin resistance (measured using triglyceride and glucose indices [TyG] obtained from fasting plasma glucose and fasting triglyceride levels), and glycemic status (defined as a history of type 2 diabetes, current use of antidiabetic medications, or an abnormal 75 g oral glucose tolerance test).

People with diabetes often have an increased ability of the kidneys to reabsorb glucose, so their kidneys take up more glucose, preventing it from being excreted in the urine, which contributes to high blood sugar.

According to Associate Professor Wu: “These findings suggest that the actions of bioactive compounds in dark tea may directly or indirectly regulate glucose excretion in the kidney, an effect mediated, to some extent, by the sodium-glucose co-transporter. 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, a new anti-diabetes drug class that is not only effective in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes but also has substantial protective effects on the heart and kidneys.

“Our findings suggest that drinking dark tea every day has the potential to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and progression through better blood sugar control,” says co-lead author Professor Zilin Sun, from Southeast University. When you look at all the different biomarkers associated with habitually drinking dark tea, this may be an easy step that people can easily take to improve their diet and health.

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