Diabetes: One of the ‘nation’s favourite drinks’ shown to lower the risk by a whopping 40%

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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Diabetes is a lifelong condition that makes your blood sugar level too high. Type 2 diabetes is the far more common form of the condition, accounting for around 90 percent of cases in UK adults. If you have type 2 diabetes it means your body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.

Often type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors including being overweight or not exercising enough.

But Diabetes.co.uk explains how the humble cuppa could make a difference.

It says: “Tea is one of the nation’s favourite drinks and research suggests it’s also a healthy drink.

“Tea brings a number of health benefits including improving insulin sensitivity.”

It recommends drinking tea without milk for the best results.

“Teas such as black tea, green tea and oolong tea contain polyphenols which researchers believe may increase insulin activity,” it adds.

“Polyphenols are known to have anti-oxidative properties which can help protect against inflammation and carcinogens.

“In other words, the properties in tea can help to prevent type 2 diabetes as well as cancer.”

A Dutch study from 2009 found that drinking three cups of tea, or coffee, could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 40 percent.

The research, which was published in Diabetologia, looked at the diets of 40,011 participants over a 10-year period.

Of the participants, 918 incidents of type 2 diabetes were documented.

It says: “After adjustment for potential confounders, coffee and tea consumption were both inversely associated with type 2 diabetes.

“Total daily consumption of at least three cups of coffee and/or tea reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by approximately 42 percent. Adjusting for blood pressure, magnesium, potassium and caffeine did not attenuate the associations.”

The paper concludes: “Drinking coffee or tea is associated with a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, which cannot be explained by magnesium, potassium, caffeine or blood pressure effects.

“Total consumption of at least three cups of coffee or tea per day may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.”

And a 2002 American study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported: “Tea, as normally consumed, was shown to increase insulin activity >15-fold in vitro in an epididymal fat cell assay.

“Black, green, and oolong teas but not herbal teas, which are not teas in the traditional sense because they do not contain leaves of camellia sinensis, were all shown to increase insulin activity.”

Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

If you have concerns about any of these symptoms you are advised to see a doctor.

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