Dark tea consumption may do more than cure the flu or warm you up on a chilly day. According to a new study that looked at blood sugar regulation, dark tea may be linked to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Presented at the Annual Meeting of The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg, Germany, drinking dark tea — like green or black — can prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and Southeast University in China looked at non tea drinkers and daily consumers of dark tea. Out of those two groups, daily tea drinkers had a 53% lower risk of prediabetes and a 47% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
These results were found even after taking into account other diabetes risk factors like age, gender, ethnicity, and body mass index.
The all-encompassing benefits of tea aren't a secret, either. Sipping on the hot remedy has been known to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease as well. So it's no surprise tea may impact other conditions in a positive way.
The findings of the study concluded that the drink manages blood sugar by improving insulin resistance.
"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."- Professor Zilin Sun from Southeast University and co-lead author
How does dark tea prevent type 2 diabetes?
The researchers believe that the benefits of dark tea lie in the way it is produced. Using microbial fermentation, the tea has bioactive compounds that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds improve insulin, improve the performance of the pancreas, and improve the bacteria in the gut.
Of course, this study doesn't mean drinking dark tea everyday will be a cure-all for diabetes, however, it can contribute to a slight reduction. The authors will now continue with a double-blind, randomized trial for people living with type 2 diabetes and the impact dark tea has on their medical condition.
Manage or reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by ensuring you're following a diet that is nutritious — AKA eliminating ultra-processed foods — and drinking plenty of water, as dehydration increases blood sugar levels.