Thursday, July 30, 2009

Black Tea and Diabetes

Do you know what the single most consumed beverage is in the world, besides water? It is tea. Long known for its antioxidants, immune boosting abilities and, most recently, antihypertensive properties, black tea could have another health benefit. Black tea may be used to control diabetes, according to a study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

Researchers from the Tianjin Key Laboratory in China studied the polysaccharide levels of green, oolong and black teas and whether they could be used to treat diabetes. Polysaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that includes starch and cellulose, may benefit people with diabetes because they help retard absorption of glucose. The researchers found that of the three teas, the polysaccharides in black tea had the most glucose-inhibiting properties. The black tea polysaccharides also showed the highest scavenging effect on free radicals, which are involved in the onset of diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Many efforts have been made to search for effective glucose inhibitors from natural materials,” says lead researcher Haixia Chen. “There is a potential for exploitation of black tea polysaccharide in managing diabetes.”

I'm sure we'll be seeing some products in the supplement category come out of this research.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see a switch away from the heavy coffee drinking with all the added junk to tea consumption. Good tea has become much easier to make and a cup or glass of iced tea in the afternoon is a great pick-me-up as well.