Globally, Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern, affecting 422 million people and causing 1.5 million deaths, according to the World Health Organisation. If uncontrolled, it can lead to high blood pressure, vision loss, and cardiovascular disease. Often lifestyle changes are suggested to reduce the risk. A new study shows that drinking dark tea may help control blood sugar and reduce diabetes risk.
The study, presented at the Annual Meeting of The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), Hamburg, earlier this week, found that compared to people who never drank tea, daily consumers had 53% lower risk for prediabetes and 47% reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, even after considering risk factors known to drive the risk for diabetes such as age, gender, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and cholesterol, as reported by a press release published in EurekaAlert!
The substantial health benefits of tea, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, have been reported in several studies over recent years, but the mechanisms underlying these benefits have been unclear,” said the study’s co-lead author Tongzhi Wu in the statement.
The findings highlight the protective effects of habitual tea drinking on blood sugar management through increased glucose excretion in urine, improved insulin resistance and thus better control of blood sugar. These benefits were more strongly observed among daily dark tea drinkers.
Furthermore, people who drank tea daily had a 15% lower risk for prediabetes, and a 28% reduced risk for type 2 diabetes compared with those who never drank tea, as reported by Medical News Today.
The benefits could be because of the unique way dark tea is produced which involves microbial fermentation, a process that may result in unique bioactive compounds (such as alkaloids, free amino acids, polyphenols, polysaccharides, and their derivatives) to show potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which improves insulin sensitivity, the statement explains.
Previous studies have also shown how lifestyle habits can affect diabetes risk. For instance, a study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine last month, found that night owls, people with an evening circadian rhythm, could have a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to early risers. The findings showed that the people with them had a 19% increased risk of diabetes after accounting for lifestyle factors.
These findings show that through one simple step, people can easily improve their health.