Drinking certain teas is linked to a lower risk of diabetes

Drinking at least four cups of one of these teas per day has been linked with a 17% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over an average 10-year period, according to research published Saturday. The research, which has not yet been published in a scientific journal, will be presented this week at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in Stockholm.

The relationship between drinking tea and the risk of type 2 diabetes has been studied before, but results have been inconsistent, said Xiaying Li, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral student at Wuhan University of Science and Technology in China.

“Our study showed that the association between tea consumption and (type 2 diabetes) depended on the amount of tea consumed. Only adequate tea consumption can show clinical effects,” Li said via email. “Based on our findings, I would advise the public to drink more tea in their daily lives, if appropriate.”

The abstract authors first studied 5,199 adults with no history of type 2 diabetes who had participated in the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS). The CHNS is a prospective study investigating the economy, sociological problems and health of residents of nine Chinese provinces. They were recruited in 1997 and followed up until 2009. At the start of the study, the participants provided information about lifestyle factors such as eating and drinking habits, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Initially, researchers found that in their study, tea drinkers and non-drinkers had a similar risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

But when researchers decided to investigate whether the amount consumed by tea drinkers made a difference by conducting a systematic review of 19 cohort studies involving more than 1 million adults from eight countries, the results were different: the more cups of green, oolong whether participants drank black tea daily, the lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The measures followed in these studies were whether participants had less than one cup of tea per day, one to three cups per day, or four or more drunk.)

The authors cautioned that their study does not prove that drinking tea reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, but does suggest that drinking tea probably contributes, according to a press release. They also noted that they relied on the participants’ own assessments of their tea consumption and could not rule out that unmeasured lifestyle and physiological factors might have influenced the results.

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Experts not involved in the study agree with the authors’ acknowledgment of the shortcomings of the current study.

“It could be that people who drink more tea are avoiding or drinking more harmful sugary drinks or something similar less often, or they may have other health behaviors that put them at a lower risk of type 2 diabetes,” says Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine. at the University of Glasgow, in a statement.

“The findings should be taken with a very large grain of salt (or cup of tea),” Kevin McConway, professor emeritus of applied statistics at the Open University in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. “The problem with meta-analysis findings is that the devil is always in the details, and we don’t have the details. Which studies were included? What was their quality? Which people, from which countries, were studied?”

More research needs to be done to determine exactly how green, black or oolong tea — and the amount consumed — may affect the risk of type 2 diabetes, Li said in a press release.

“Certain components in tea, such as polyphenols, can lower blood glucose levels by inhibiting the activity of -glucosidase and/or inhibiting the activity of other enzymes, but a sufficient amount of the bioactive compound is required to be effective,” said Li. .

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Polyphenols are compounds found in many plants and give some flowers, fruits and vegetables their color, according to the National Cancer Institute. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties, which can help prevent or slow cell damage in the body. Bioactive compounds are nutrients or non-nutrients in foods that affect how the body functions.

The message is that lifestyle choices are important for managing the risk of type 2 diabetes, Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior lecturer at Aston University in Birmingham in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. Mellor was not involved in the investigation.

In addition to keeping your kettle boiling, regular exercise, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains, and using alternative sweeteners have also been linked to both a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and better control. of the disease.

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