The first cup of tea can often feel like a lifesaver in the morning.
Now research suggests that this ritual is good for your health – slashing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 28 per cent.
Experts believe tea has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which improve insulin sensitivity.
The effects were particularly strong in dark tea dark, an ancient tea which involves microbial fermentation in the manufacturing process.
The first cup of tea can often feel like a lifesaver in the morning. Now research suggests that this ritual is good for your health – slashing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 28 per cent
Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and Southeast University in China looked at the daily tea drinking habits of 1,923 adults from China.
Participants included both non-habitual tea drinkers and those with a history of drinking only a single type of tea.
They were asked about the frequency of tea drinking – ranging from never, occasionally to often and every day and about the type, such as green, black, dark, or other tea.
HOW MUCH SUGAR IS TOO MUCH?
The amount of sugar a person should eat in a day depends on how old they are.
Children aged four to six years old should be limited to a maximum of 19g per day.
Seven to 10-year-olds should have no more than 24g, and children aged 11 and over should have 30g or less.
Meanwhile the NHS recommends adults have no more than 30g of free sugars a day.
Popular snacks contain a surprising amount of sugar and even a single can of Coca Cola (35g of sugar) or one Mars bar (33g) contains more than the maximum amount of sugar a child should have over a whole day.
A bowl of Frosties contains 24g of sugar, meaning a 10-year-old who has Frosties for breakfast has probably reached their limit for the day before they even leave the house.
Children who eat too much sugar risk damaging their teeth, putting on fat and becoming overweight, and getting type 2 diabetes which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.
These were then analysed against tests results of the amount of sugar in urine, insulin resistance and glycaemic status, defined as a history of type 2 diabetes, current use of antidiabetic medications, or an abnormal 75g oral glucose tolerance test.
Drinking tea every day was associated with an increase in urinary glucose excretion and a reduction in insulin resistance, suggesting lower chances of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
People with diabetes often suffer with renal glucose reabsorption, meaning their kidneys retrieve more glucose, preventing it from being excreted in urine and contributing to higher blood sugar levels.
Presenting their results at The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), in Hamburg, Germany, researchers found those who enjoy a cuppa had a 15 per cent lower risk for prediabetes and 28 per cent reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, compared with never tea-drinkers.
Professor Tongzhi Wu of the University of Adelaide, and lead author said: ‘Our findings hint at the protective effects of habitual tea drinking on blood sugar management via increased glucose excretion in urine, improved insulin resistance and thus better control of blood sugar.
‘These benefits were most pronounced among daily dark tea drinkers.’
Dark tea drinkers had a 53 per cent lower risk for prediabetes and 47 per cent reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, even after taking into account established risk factors including body mass index (BMI), average arterial blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, cholesterol, alcohol intake, smoking status, family history of diabetes and regular exercise.
Researchers stressed the findings were observational, so could not prove a causal link but that further studies hoped to.
Professor Zilin Sun from Southeast University said ‘Our findings suggest that drinking dark tea every day has the potential to lessen type 2 diabetes risk and progression through better blood sugar control.
‘When you look at all the different biomarkers associated with habitual drinking of dark tea, it may be one simple step people can easily take to improve their diet and health.’
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