For most people, it is a good habit to drink tea often since it brings a number of health benefits, which include helping prevent and manage type 2 diabetes, a rat study shows. However, this effect varies from tea to tea. And studies have shown that green tea works best for diabetes prevention. What’s more, it helps diabetic patients control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications too.
As one of metabolic disorders, diabetes can cause kidney failure, blindness, amputations, cardiovascular disease and other complications. Since there is no cure for this disease, the main treatment is to use oral hypoglycaemic drugs and insulin. Unfortunately, they only provide temporary relief by stabilizing the blood sugar and, worse still, both of them have serious side effects and are not effective in preventing complications.
Good news is that recent studies show that green tea could be effective in prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications. In fact, this beverage has been popular in the world for a number of reasons, which include reducing inflammation, enhancing anti-angiogenesis, combating the process of oxidation in the body, losing weight, lowering cholesterol, and so on. All these mentioned health benefits mean a lot to modern people since they are more prone to metabolic diseases. This is why tea may play an important role in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and the like.
As mentioned above, there are many different types of tea. According to the different degree of fermentation, it can generally be divided into green, black and oolong tea. While each type has its own benefits, the green one makes more sense to patients with diabetes.
Japanese experts ever conducted an experiment with diabetic rats, and they found that green tea could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In addition, another prospective study shows that drinking 6 cups of it a day can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 33 percent.
A retrospective study also confirmed that long-term consumption of green tea could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In a double-blind study the researchers found that it could help restore insulin secretion and prevent obesity to some extent. Of course, black or oolong tea is great for human health too, but when it comes to controlling blood sugar many studies have shown that the green one seems perform better.
This is largely due to a component called polyphenols. Since green tea has not undergone the process of withering and oxidation, maximum amounts of polyphenols, in particular catechins, and antioxidants are retained. Catechins are an astringent component that helps prevent the oxidation of blood vessels. So, it is effective in the prevention of diabetes itself and the complication arteriosclerosis. Another benefit of catechins is to inhibit the rapid rise of the postprandial blood glucose level by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine. Besides, this beverage also contains vitamin C, vitamin E and other nutrients that can help lower blood pressure, reduce blood fat, and prevent cardiovascular diseases and colds.
More importantly, in human bodies there is a substance called glucose transporter, which exists in each cell. Just as its name implies, it is closely related to the transportation of glucose and the regulation of blood sugar level. As a result, the transporter interacts with polyphenols to control the glucose uptake, thereby reducing the risk of type II diabetes.
In addition, the researchers also found that regularly drinking this beverage can increase the release of glucose transporter to reduce insulin resistance. Of course, the lowered blood sugar can’t all be attributed to a certain ingredient. Instead, this is a more complex process. For example, there are studies confirm that high dietary zinc intake and high serum zinc levels may reduce the incidence of diabetes. Similarly, zinc in this drink may also have some self-maintaining effect to diabetes.
Although drinking green tea may help prevent and manage diabetes, experts stress that it should combine with diet, exercise, medication, and other methods to achieve better outcome.