Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Drinking plenty of tea – at least four cups a day – can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research has found.

The Chinese scientists behind the discovery say four or more cups of tea a day can reduce the risk by 17% over 10 years. “Our results are exciting because they suggest that people can do something as simple as drinking four cups of tea a day to potentially reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said Xiaying Li of Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China. main author.

The protective effect may be even greater if people put milk in their tea, Li said. Although she and her seven co-authors did not investigate the effect of milk in tea as part of their work, previous studies have shown that dairy products can also have an anti-diabetic effect.

“I think milk would enhance the effect of tea on diabetes. That is, tea would be more effective with milk,” said Li.

She will present the findings Sunday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden.

The researchers undertook a meta-analysis of 19 previous studies on tea drinking and diabetes involving nearly 1.1 million adults in eight countries in the Americas, Asia or Europe, including one conducted in Great Britain. They found a “significant linear association” between drinking black, green or Oolong tea – a traditional Chinese tea – and a reduced risk of diabetes.

Compared to non-tea drinkers, people who drank one, two or three cups a day had a 4% lower risk – but those who drank four or more cups a day had a 17% lower risk. The effect was consistent in both sexes.

Asked why tea might protect against diabetes, Li said, “It is possible that certain components of tea, such as polyphenols, can lower blood glucose levels, but sufficient amounts of these bioactive compounds may be required to be effective.”

About 4 million Britons have been diagnosed with diabetes. Of these, about 90% have type 2, which is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle, especially being overweight. The rest have type 1, an autoimmune condition that is unrelated to lifestyle and is usually diagnosed in childhood. Although the findings did not appear in a medical journal, they were reviewed by the organizers of the Stockholm conference.

Li said that while the findings are observational and do not prove that drinking tea causes a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, they believe it is likely to contribute.

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