Research has shown that tea consumption reduces the likelihood of developing diabetes.

Researchers studying the effects of tea discovered that drinking four or more cups of black, green, or oolong tea per day was linked with a 17% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over a decade.

Researchers studying the effects of tea discovered that drinking four or more cups of black, green, or oolong tea per day was linked with a 17% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over a decade.

“Our findings are exciting because they imply that people can do something as simple as drinking four cups of tea a day to potentially reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,” said lead study author Xiaying Li of China’s Wuhan University of Science and Technology

Li’s team conducted a meta-analysis of 19 studies involving over 1 million adults from eight countries.  First, they looked at nearly 5,200 adults with no history of Type 2 diabetes who were recruited in 1997 and followed up on until 2009 in the China Health and Nutrition Survey.

Participants in the study completed questionnaires on food and drink frequency as well as information on lifestyle factors such as regular exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Tea was consumed by approximately 46% of participants. By the end of the study, approximately 10% (522 people) had developed Type 2 diabetes.

The researchers adjusted for known diabetes links and discovered that the results of this study were similar for tea drinkers and those who did not drink tea.
The researchers then conducted a systematic review of all studies examining tea consumption and the risk of Type 2 diabetes in adults up to September 2021.

The researchers examined three types of tea and the frequency with which they were consumed: less than one cup per day, one to three cups per day, and four or more cups per day. They also took gender into account, as well as whether participants were from Europe, the United States, or Asia.

This time, the researchers discovered that tea drinkers reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by 1% for every cup consumed. Adults who drank one to three cups of tea daily reduced their risk by 4% when compared to non-drinkers. Those who drank at least four cups of coffee per day reduced their risk by 17%.  This occurred regardless of location, gender, or tea type.

The findings will be presented this week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm. Medical meeting findings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“While more research is needed to determine the exact dosage and mechanisms underlying these observations,” Li said in a meeting news release, “our findings suggest that drinking tea is beneficial in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, but only at high doses (at least 4 cups per day).”

“It is possible that specific components of tea, such as polyphenols, may lower blood glucose levels; however, a sufficient amount of these bioactive compounds may be required to be effective.” It could also explain why we didn’t find a link between tea consumption and Type 2 diabetes in our cohort study, because we didn’t look at higher tea consumption,” Li added.

The study’s limitations include relying on self-reports of tea consumption. Other lifestyle or physiological factors could also have influenced the results.
A prospective study of 500,000 tea drinkers in the United Kingdom found that higher tea consumption was associated with a slightly lower risk of death.

Disclaimer. The study, led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, is a large and comprehensive examination of the potential mortality benefits of drinking black tea, the most common type of tea consumed in the United Kingdom.
Previous studies that found a modest association between higher tea consumption and a lower risk of death focused primarily on Asian populations, which commonly consume green tea. Black tea research has produced conflicting results.
The researchers discovered that people who drank two or more cups of tea per day had a 9% to 13% lower risk of death from any cause than people who did not drink tea.

Tea consumption was also linked to a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. The link was observed regardless of preferred tea temperature, milk or sugar addition, or genetic variations affecting the rate at which people metabolise caffeine.

The findings, published in Annals of Internal Medicine on August 30, 2022, suggest that black tea, even at higher levels of consumption, can be part of a healthy diet, according to the researchers.

The study included 498,043 men and women aged 40 to 69 who took part in the UK Biobank large cohort study. The participants were followed for about 11 years, and death information came from a linked database from the UK National Health Service.

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