People with type 2 diabetes have cells that are desensitized to insulin, which is known as insulin resistance. This, and the fact that the pancreas often stops releasing enough insulin, makes their blood sugar levels difficult to control. It has been found that green tea consumption could help with this. How?
For a person already diagnosed with diabetes, green tea may be able to help manage blood sugar levels.
According to studies, green tea consumption is associated with decreased fasting glucose levels and A1C levels, as well as reduced fasting insulin levels, which are a measurement of diabetes health.
It has been suggested the antioxidant activity of polyphenols and polysaccharides are the benefits which help with blood glucose management.
These same antioxidants are credited with anticancer, cholesterol lowering, blood pressure benefits and even hair increasing effects.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity was investigated.
The study noted: “The results of studies investigating the effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity in humans are inconsistent.
“Seventeen trials comprising a total of 1,133 subjects were included in the current meta-analysis.
“Green tea consumption significantly reduced the fasting glucose and haemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) concentrations by -0.09 mmol/L and -0.30 percent, respectively.”
The study concluded that green tea had favourable effects, ie, decreased fasting glucose and Hb A1c concentrations.
In another study, the effects of green tea on obesity and type 2 diabetes were analysed.
The study noted: “Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the world’s most popular beverages, especially in Asian countries including Korea, China, and Japan.
“Because of the high rate of green tea consumption in these populations, even small effects on an individual basis could have a large public health impact.
“A population-based, prospective cohort study has shown that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes and cardiovascular disease as well.
“Randomized controlled trials have indicated that green tea is effective in decreasing blood pressure, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, oxidative stress, and a marker of chronic inflammation.”
The study indicated that green tea could help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
It found that in Japan, those who drank six or more cups of green tea daily were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drank just one cup per week.
Other studies have found that people who drank green tea consistently for a period of 10 years had smaller waist circumferences and lower body fat levels, showing that the tea may play a role in reducing obesity risk.
There are other factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle that could reduce a person’s chance of developing the condition.
The global diabetes community mention five health-boosting factors for preventing type 2 diabetes.
These include eating fresh vegetables regularly through the day and making time for physical activity each day.
Other factors include not smoking, keeping alcohol intake to a minimum and reducing any consumption of processed foods.