Four cups of tea a day can help prevent diabetes, say Chinese scientists

Research has found that drinking a lot of tea, at least four cups a day, can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The Chinese academics behind the findings 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 the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said Xiaying Li of Wuhan University of Science and Technology. in China, the lead 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 the tea as part of their work, previous studies have shown that dairy products can also have an anti-diabetic effect.

“I think milk would make tea’s effect on diabetes stronger. That is, tea would be more effective with milk,” Li said.

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

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

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

When 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 it may take sufficient these bioactive compounds to be effective.”

About 4 million Britons have been diagnosed with diabetes. Of these, around 90% have type 2, which is associated with unhealthy lifestyles, especially being overweight. The others have type 1, an autoimmune disease that is not associated with lifestyle and is usually diagnosed in childhood. Although the findings have not appeared in a medical journal, they were peer-reviewed by the organizers of the Stockholm conference.

He told Li 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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